Thanksgiving is a time for family, togetherness, love, and of course, giving thanks. But let’s not forget that Thanksgiving is also a time for a traditional, and oftentimes enormous, Thanksgiving feast. Most people throw their diet down the drain when this holiday comes around.
However, it is possible to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day without losing sight of your health goals. Instead of focusing on the food, enjoy the day with healthy family activities. Below are a handful of simple steps to help you celebrate Thanksgiving Day happily and healthily!
1. Eat a Healthy, Hearty Breakfast | Breakfast Recipes
Many people make the mistake of skipping breakfast so that they can eat more later. But if you’d like to avoid overindulging on pumpkin pie, it’s best to start your day with a hearty, filling breakfast. The Breakfast Recipes app is the perfect place to find delicious and healthy breakfast recipes.
It’s easy to navigate through the app and find something healthy, whether you’re looking for a vegan, keto, or diabetic-friendly breakfast. There’s even a category dedicated to Thanksgiving-themed breakfast dishes. What’s more, you can save the recipe ingredients to the app’s shopping list, so you’re prepared for the big day.
Download: Breakfast Recipes for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
2. Choose Water Instead of Alcohol | Drink Water Aquarium
If you’re under the impression that the “light” Thanksgiving cocktails you like to drink don’t have many calories, sadly, you’re wrong. Alcohol can contain a massive amount of calories, so opt for water instead. To remind yourself to stay hydrated, use the Drink Water Aquarium app. The app makes it easy to customize and track everything you drink.
With this app, it’s not only effortless to monitor your water consumption—it’s super fun too! The app is basically like having a virtual aquarium on your smartphone where you can collect different fish, backgrounds, and trophies as you drink water.
Download: Drink Water Aquarium for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
3. Plan a Healthier Holiday Feast | SideChef
When you imagine a Thanksgiving feast you probably picture a bowl of mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing–all topped with loads of butter. The good news is that you can indulge in something delicious that’s healthy too. The SideChef mobile app is like having a cooking partner by your side on Thanksgiving Day, helping you step-by-step along the way.
You can search for recipes on the app by meal or by various categories, such as vegetarian, low-carb, budget-friendly, and more. Moreover, you can narrow down your search by using filters like occasions or calories per serving. That means it’s as easy as pumpkin pie to find a Thanksgiving dinner dish between 200 and 400 calories and that takes under 60 minutes to prepare.
Download: SideChef for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
4. Eat Slowly and Mindfully | Eat Right Now
It’s tough to stop yourself from gobbling up your Thanksgiving meal. However, you should learn how to slowly savor your food so that you don’t overeat. Eat Right Now is an awesome app that can help you change your eating habits using tools, lessons, and training modules. The modules focus on teaching you about things like mindful eating, emotional eating, and cravings.
On the other hand, the tools include a check-in tool, a craving tool, a stress test, and a Want-O-Meter. The Want-O-Meter helps you take a step back when you’re struggling with bad cravings and then zeros in on the emotions that brought it about.
Download: Eat Right Now for iOS | Android (Subscription required, free trial available)
5. Snack on Fruits and Veggies | Tasty
Instead of reaching for the potato chips while you’re waiting for the main course to cook, prepare some fruit and vegetable-forward snacks and finger food. On the Tasty app, it’s super simple to find something to suit your skill level, occasion, and dietary preferences. An excellent feature of Tasty is that many of the recipes feature fun follow-along videos. Plus, you can adjust the serving size and the recipe adjusts to match.
Use the search bar and add as many filters as you’d like. For example, filter your search to look for healthy, vegetarian snacks for a special occasion. From there the app gives you a library of mouthwatering recipes, like a watermelon grill with fruit skewers, fruit spring rolls, zucchini fries, and eggplant rings.
Download: Tasty for iOS | Android (Free)
6. Play Some Fun Fitness Games | Ring Fit Adventure
When the feast is over, chances are that everyone is going to want to have a nap or laze on the couch and watch TV. Instead of drifting off into a food coma, why not play some fun games together as a family? Ring Fit Adventure is a family-friendly, fantasy fitness game that is available on Nintendo Switch and that gives you the chance to burn off some calories.
The game features over 100 levels in various worlds, all of which you can explore by doing real-life arm, ab, leg, and yoga exercises. So secure the leg strap and pick up the Ring-Con and begin your Thanksgiving adventure.
7. Start and End the Day With a Family Walk | StepsApp
Walking may not be as fun as playing a fantasy adventure game like Ring Fit Adventure, but it is a free, easy-to-do exercise that the whole family can enjoy. In addition, walking after eating a large meal can aid digestion. StepsApp is a step counter app that allows you to customize your target goals for your steps, calories, kilometers, and minutes.
Use the StepsApp to make a game out of walking by setting a step goal at the beginning of Thanksgiving day and trying to achieve it by the end of the day. Even better, you can share your total steps with your friends and family directly or on social media.
Download: StepsApp for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
8. Go to Bed Early | Sleep Sounds
Sleep is an important physical and mental health factor, and it’s what you need to help your body recover at the end of Thanksgiving Day—or any day. Sleep Sounds is an app with a massive library of different sleep sounds, including rain, nature, transport, and white noise. The best aspect of the Sleep Sounds app is that you can create your very own, custom-made soundscape mixes.
Simply select a combination of sounds and music, adjust the volume of each individual sound to your liking, and then set the timer. You can even lock your smartphone or use other apps while the sounds continue playing in the background. This is a fantastic feature, particularly if you want to add some ambiance while you take part in a guided meditation session.
Download: Sleep Sounds for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
Make Healthier Choices and Still Enjoy Thanksgiving Day
Having a happy and guilt-free Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself or say no to seconds. It merely means making a few healthy changes, such as taking part in family-friendly fitness activities or tweaking your festive feast. Use these tips as inspiration to enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling sleepy, behind on your fitness goals, or overstuffed with stuffing.