By Kaylin Meyer

Thanksgiving is such a family-friendly holiday full of love, nostalgia and delicious ingredients. It’s a welcoming holiday that features one of the best menus of the year – which is exactly what makes it so tricky to avoid overindulging and having to loosen up a notch on the old belt postmeal.

I used to think that Thanksgiving was the one day a year where calories didn’t count, but sadly, as I embrace “old age” it appears I can’t quite consume calories like I used to. With the average American on track to consume a whopping 4,500 calories in one Thanksgiving Day meal, something needs to be done for us folks who are looking to just stuff the bird and not ourselves!

I’m definitely averse to passing up my favorite mouthwatering foods —  especially not on the most delicious holiday of the year — and I certainly hope you wouldn’t either. So, in order to mindfully indulge in a worry-free Thanksgiving feast, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we just need to make a few modifications.

The real secret to learning how to eat healthy on Thanksgiving? Portion size. If you practice portion control and substitute a few traditional ingredients, you can easily save hundreds of calories!

Mastering Moderation

Did you know you that ¾ cup of Campbell’s French onion green bean casserole is only about 150 calories? When you limit your portion sizes, you can enjoy devouring classic comfort foods. Here are a couple of ways you can effortlessly cut calories this Thanksgiving.

How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving

Green bean casserole should be on your short list of healthy Thanksgiving sides this year.

Fauxtatoes

Instead of doing mashed potatoes, take a different spin on the quintessential holiday side dish and try making mashed cauliflower! Cauliflower is a healthy, tasty substitution: mashed cauliflower takes on a nearly identical consistency to that of mashed potatoes. More importantly, one serving size is just under 60 calories! That’s a healthy living win!

How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving

Mashed cauliflower is a tasty, nutritious alternative to that Thanksgiving favorite mashed potatoes.

Sweet Treats

Yes, you are still allowed to nibble on savory desserts! Just make sure you portion them out so you don’t accidentally go overboard. The secret on sweet treat portion control? Muffin tops tins! Bake the most delicious holiday pies in a muffin tin! It’s notorious for making the perfect bite size treats which ensures you don’t accidentally eat more than you should! Try this recipe here.

How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving

You don’t have to forego the traditional apple pie — just make smaller portions!

Vegan Creamed Corn

Just because the word “cream” is in the title doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the very scrumptious taste of sweet creamed corn! Ditch the heavy cream, milk and butter and sub in coconut milk instead! Coconut milk is naturally sweet, creamy, completely vitamin rich and highly nutritious! It’s truly the perfect solution for a healthy cooking alternative and trust me, you won’t miss the ingredients, but you will experience flavor delight. Click here for a healthier vegan creamed corn recipe!

Now that you’ve got your recipes and portions down to a science, here’s how to host an unforgettable Thanksgiving party!

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