By Misti Gueron M.S., R.D.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner many of us are over-thinking what we can do to help us keep healthy on a day when it is de rigueur to over indulge. So how do successful dieters stay on track? Here are 14 tips from a noted medical nutrition therapist to help you make your Thanksgiving healthy.

1. Have a food plan for the day. Since it is Thanksgiving, allow yourself to have a few indulgences that won’t set you back, maybe a little bit of stuffing or a spoonful of your mother’s corn pudding. You should begin your day with planned exercise or a walk…this can stimulate your metabolism for a high energy, calorie burning day!

2. Avoid alcohol or soft drinks, drink water instead, at least 8oz every hour…You will feel full faster and it will help to combat cravings.

3. If you want to nibble before the meal, stick with the crudités and Don’t Dip!

4. Don’t starve beforehand so you can treat yourself later…skipping meals slows your metabolism AND YOUR “END OF DAY’ HUNGER MAY CAUSE YOU TO OVER EAT! If you plan a light breakfast and lunch earlier in the day …you will be able to eat less and still enjoy the tastes of the holiday meal!

5. Use smaller plates. People tend to fill up their plates with meals like a Thanksgiving feast so using smaller plates can make you feel like you are indulging while you are really eating a lot less than you normally would.

6. Instead of a fake-healthy side dish with cheese or globs of butter, go for a real-healthy side dish of steamed autumn vegetables.

7. Cut your carbs and fats by replacing heavy mashed potatoes with boiled or baked baby potatoes and you can add a splash of olive oil with seasonings. This can cut out all the butter and cream.

8. If you are invited to someone’s house, offer to bring a salad or a few side dishes…that way you are certain to have something there that is on your diet!

9. Bake your turkey with the skin ON and peel it OFF for a moist taste …and a small waistline!

10. Stick with skinless white meat turkey. Try to avoid fattier Thanksgiving meats like Duck or Goose or the trendy Turducken. And PS: it is NOT ok to eat fried turkey, even if you only eat the white meat.

11. Be active! Before and after your meal! Take a nice long walk or play ball with the kids… just move!

12. If you are entertaining at home, pack up most of the leftovers in goodie bags for your guests to take home… but save the healthy bits for yourself.

13. Don’t beat yourself up by continuing to eat poorly if you slip…bingeing will only make you more miserable physically and mentally!

14. Lastly, enjoy the people and the celebration of the holiday and the blessings in your life…including a happy, healthy body!

Misti Gueron M.S., R.D. is a Medical Nutrition Therapist – Sports Dietitian at The Khalili Center for Bariatric Care in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information visit: