Refocusing Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – a day that, for many, focuses mostly on food. We spend time planning the menu, shopping for ingredients, preparing the dishes, and then eating it all! While this is a great part of the day, it often makes it difficult to feel in control of our eating habits. Lucky for us, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can maintain our healthy habits while still enjoying the day and the food.


  1. While Thanksgiving dinner is a big part of the holiday, we need to shift our focus away from the food and find other ways to make the day special. Spend time focusing on the people you’re spending your holiday with. This includes family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.

    Have meaningful conversations, help out in the kitchen, play a game with the kids, spend time with grandma, etc. You might even find that your Thanksgiving Day is more enjoyable when centered on people instead of food

  2. Don’t spend the whole day cooped up inside, hovering in the kitchen and around the dinner table. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Go on a walk before and/or after dinner. Instead of just sitting on the couch watching sports, get outside and play a game of catch, or chase the kids around the yard.

    If you’re into photography, Thanksgiving is a great time to get some good nature shots or pictures of family. Not only does this get you away from the food so you’re less likely to keep piecing on it, you’ll also be able to log some physical activity for the day!

  3. Only eat what you actually want to eat. Sometimes we get in the habit of taking some of everything just to make everyone who brought food feel good. You don’t have to do that! Just take some of what you want and enjoy it!

    And don’t feel pressure to get more even if everyone else is getting seconds or your aunt tells you to fill up another plate. If you really want more candied yams but you’re just too full, ask if you can take some home to eat later. This will make what you do eat more enjoyable and help you feel better the rest of the day.

  4. Don’t stress if you do break some of your typical healthy lifestyle rules. And don’t think that you need to “make up for it” the next day by exercising harder or eating less. Just enjoy the day and then move on. Trying to “cancel out” the Thanksgiving meal will only make the day (and the days after) less enjoyable.


Try these few tips and see if they can help you thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!