10 Health Tips to Make Thanksgiving Day a Success

Are you nervous about hosting a healthy Thanksgiving this year? You don’t have to worry, because we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy-to-follow tips for a tasty, healthy, and stress-free holiday.

Quick facts: Health Tips For Thanksgiving

  • ✅ Americans consume over 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving (National Turkey Federation).
  • ✅ Nearly 80% of Americans say that the holiday season has an effect on their mental health (Mental Health America).
  • ✅ Nearly one-third of Americans feel that Thanksgiving is the most important holiday (National Retail Federation).
  • ✅ 85% of Americans say that they are “very likely” to make healthier food choices during Thanksgiving (American Institute for Cancer Research).
  • ✅ Nearly 60% of Americans say that they make an effort to incorporate some aspect of health into their Thanksgiving celebration (International Food Information Council Foundation).


Planning your Thanksgiving meal with nutrition in mind is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy holiday. When selecting dishes and ingredients, it’s important to include wholesome, nutrient-rich options that can help keep your body fueled and healthy. Let’s take a look at some of these tips to make Thanksgiving Day a success:

  • Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose leaner cuts of meat, such as turkey, chicken, and pork loin.
  • Opt for whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and bulgur wheat.
  • Go for low-fat dairy options, such as Greek yogurt and skim milk.
  • Limit added sugars and fats, such as butter and margarine.

Be mindful of portion sizes

While it’s important to enjoy the delicious food of Thanksgiving, one should also be mindful about their portion sizes and overall intake. This can be especially challenging with so many tempting dishes in front of you! Avoid overindulging by planning ahead and incorporating healthier options into your plate, such as vegetables and fruits that are colorful and high in fiber. Eating slowly also helps because it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realize that we’ve had enough to eat.

Additionally, try drinking plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages before, during and after meals to stay hydrated. And don’t forget – try your best not to go back for seconds!

Choose healthy sides

When planning your Thanksgiving meal, start with a few healthy sides. Adding some fresh vegetables and fruits to your holiday dinner will give you more energy and nutrition for the festivities. Choosing lower-fat, lower-calorie sides like steamed green beans or a fruit salad will help you maintain balance during the meal.

Additionally, use healthier cooking methods like roasting or grilling vegetables instead of frying them to slash calories even further. Making sure there are some lighter sides at a holiday dinner can help reduce overall intake and ensure that you have room for some of your favorite treats without feeling guilty.

Include healthy snacks

Including healthy snacks in your Thanksgiving Day meal will help you stay energized and feel fuller longer. Snacks such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables not only provide nutrition but can also keep hunger at bay throughout the day.

  • Nuts are high in healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.
  • Fresh or frozen fruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
  • An assortment of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or celery provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals to help maintain a balanced diet.

Eating these snacks between meals will allow you to enjoy the festivities without overindulging in unhealthy foods. Additionally, consuming healthy snacks will ensure that your body is getting essential nutrients so that you can have an enjoyable day with family and friends.


Exercise is a key component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and it becomes even more important during holiday weeks like Thanksgiving. Exercise can help to reduce stress and prevent overeating, as well as boosting your mood and improving your overall health.

Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises that you can do on Thanksgiving Day:

Take a walk before dinner

Take a walk before dinner to help burn off some of those extra calories you’ll be consuming. This can also be great for the whole family and make it a tradition too. Going out for a walk or doing some sort of physical activity before sitting down to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal can be beneficial to your physical, emotional, and even mental wellbeing.

Not only will it help you feel better throughout the holiday season, but it’s also an excellent way to spend quality time with family and friends. Additionally, making an effort to move around prior to your Thanksgiving feast will lessen digestion issues after the meal.

  • Help burn off extra calories.
  • Spend quality time with family and friends.
  • Lessen digestion issues after the meal.

Get active with family and friends

Getting active with family and friends is one of the best ways to make Thanksgiving Day a success. Try exercising together – take a hike, play catch, do an exercise video or just enjoy an evening walk. It’s an investment in your health and your relationships with family and friends.

Exercising together isn’t just about building physical strength but mental strength too. It’s a great bonding experience and it teaches you to work together as a team to achieve goals. With your family, you can use friendly competition to motivate each other or come up with various exercises that can be done in small teams.

It’s also an excellent way for kids to participate as well, by learning something new about physical activity at the same time. Exercise can be turned into a fun activity that will bring you closer as a family while improving everyone’s physical health.

Take advantage of the outdoors

For those looking to make the most of Thanksgiving Day and incorporate some exercise into their holiday festivities, why not take advantage of the great outdoors? Whether it’s a brisk walk after dinner or a family game of football in the backyard, getting outdoors can be both refreshing and a great way to burn some extra calories.

Going for a walk or run after dinner is also a great way to encourage digestion, which can be especially beneficial if you indulged in one too many plates of stuffing. Taking your family dog for a long stroll also gives you an opportunity to appreciate any sights and sounds that nature has to offer while enjoying quality time with your furry friend.

Stress Management

Thanksgiving Day is a time for family, friends, and food! It is also a day that can be full of stress and anxiety if you don’t manage it correctly. Stress management is the key to having a successful Thanksgiving Day. Here are 10 health tips to help reduce your stress levels and make sure that you can enjoy the day:

  1. Take time to relax.
  2. Plan ahead.
  3. Set realistic expectations.
  4. Be mindful of your emotions.
  5. Stay organized.
  6. Take care of your physical health.
  7. Be flexible.
  8. Practice self-care.
  9. Stay connected.
  10. Enjoy the moment.

Take time for yourself

In the midst of the Thanksgiving Day hustle, it is important to make time for yourself. Self-care can help you better manage any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. It may also help to make sure your needs are met, as well as those of your family and friends.

Taking time for yourself doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive; it can be as simple as:

  • Going for a walk
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book
  • Writing in a journal

You could also try taking some deep breaths, practicing yoga or meditation, or going for a massage.

Making time for yourself during the holidays can help you stay centered and grounded in the midst of all the holiday craziness!

Practice mindful breathing

Mindful breathing is an excellent technique to help manage your stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings. It is a simple but powerful tool, and can be done virtually anywhere. Simply take a few deep breaths in and out while focusing your attention on each breath. This will help clear your mind of many anxious thoughts and help you find a sense of calm.

You can also try using positive affirmations or repeating a comforting phrase like “this too shall pass” to further alleviate stress during Thanksgiving day celebrations. Practicing mindful breathing regularly may also help you develop more efficient coping mechanisms for future stressful situations.

Find ways to relax

Finding ways to relax when stress levels are high should be a priority for everyone. When you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it can help to take some time to yourself. Taking part in activities like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress levels and improve your mental wellbeing, as well as easing physical tension.

Additionally, there are other simple things that can help you relax, such as listening to music or having a hot bath. Finding activities that make you feel at ease will help you manage your stress levels during the holiday season, ensuring that Thanksgiving Day is a successful one!


Getting enough sleep can play a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. It is essential for mental and physical health, as well as for regulating your mood. Getting enough sleep is especially important during the holidays because it can help to reduce stress and anxiety and give you the energy to make it through the day.

Let’s look at some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep during Thanksgiving:

Get to bed early

One of the most important Thanksgiving Day health tips is to get to bed early on Thanksgiving Eve. Poor sleeping habits can have both immediate and long-term consequences on your overall health, including reducing your ability to think and reason clearly. Getting a good night’s sleep also helps regulate stress hormones and reduces fatigue.

To make sure you enjoy the holiday without feeling too tired, set an alarm for when it’s time to go to bed. This will help with getting up in the morning, which is essential for a successful day ahead. Additionally, try not to drink caffeinated beverages throughout the day leading up to Thanksgiving, as these can increase alertness and make it more difficult for you to fall asleep that night.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol

One of the most important tips to have a successful Thanksgiving Day is to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt or decrease quality sleep, leaving you feeling tired and irritable the next day. Additionally, consuming caffeine late in the evening decreases your body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, which is necessary for restful sleep.

It’s best to avoid coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol at least 4-5 hours before bedtime. If you need an after dinner espresso or nightcap make sure its earlier on in the day so it won’t disturb your sleep later on. A good night’s sleep will help ensure that you are well rested for Thanksgiving Day festivities.

Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary

Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation and rejuvenation for a peaceful night’s sleep. This means that the space should be comfortable, free of distractions, and calming.

  • Reduce technology use in your bedroom – keep your phone or laptop off the bed and out of sight.
  • Remove clutter from the room to make sure you are sleeping space is serene.
  • Choose light colors or soft textures to create an atmosphere conducive to rest, with furniture that is comfortable and inviting.
  • Lowering the temperature in the room helps trick your body into thinking it’s time for bed as well, so try setting it a bit lower before going to sleep.
  • Use aromatherapy oils such as lavender or chamomile to help you relax even more and get ready for a restful night’s sleep.

Social Well-Being

Thanksgiving Day is a special day to spend with friends and family, but with the pandemic around, we need to be extra mindful and considerate of our mental health during the festivities. Social well-being during Thanksgiving Day is important to ensure we stay connected with the ones we love and strengthen our relationships.

Let us explore the health tips that can help us to enjoy the day without worrying about our mental health:

Connect with family and friends

Connecting with family and friends is an essential part of good health and well-being, particularly during the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to strengthen these connections. Planning activities that involve friends and family can help to foster meaningful relationships and enhance social well-being.

Getting together with family and friends can help to create meaningful conversations and provide emotional support. Sharing stories, discussing current events, or playing games can be a great way to create a festive atmosphere full of positive energy. Additionally, planning activities like cooking together or going for a walk can provide further opportunities for quality time spent together.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize when it may be better to take a break from certain conversations or people if they make you feel overly stressed or overwhelmed. Respecting your needs while still being able to enjoy the company of your loved ones can help make Thanksgiving Day a success both socially and mentally!

Spend quality time together

Spending quality time together is an important part of social wellbeing. Sitting down to share a meal is often when meaningful conversations occur and connections are rekindled, which in turn go a long way towards enhancing your sense of social wellbeing.

This Thanksgiving, enjoy quality time spent with loved ones around the table. Strike up conversations, laugh together, and try new recipes to create lasting memories with your family and friends. Taking this time to connect can help strengthen your mental health by providing feelings of comfort and closeness that reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness. It also promotes a healthy outlook on life by furthering relationships with those you care about.

So this holiday season make sure to spend quality time together with those depending on you for love and support!

Share stories and laughter

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is taking time to share stories and laughter with family and friends. Whether it’s funny memories of the past, the latest gossip among your relatives, or a joke that will make everyone laugh, taking time to connect with others and share stories is an important part of social well-being.

Not only does it remind us that we are connected to one another, but being surrounded by laughter helps boost our moods and can even extend our life expectancy. The holiday season should be filled with moments of joy, so don’t forget to get everyone laughing at the table this Thanksgiving!

FAQs about: Health Tips For Thanksgiving

Q: What should I do to stay healthy during Thanksgiving?

A: Eating healthy during Thanksgiving is important to maintain a balanced diet. Make sure you fill your plate with plenty of vegetables and fruits, and avoid loading up on fried foods and sugary desserts. Exercise is also important, so make sure to get some physical activity during the holiday.

Q: How can I make my Thanksgiving dinner healthier?

A: You can make your Thanksgiving dinner healthier by using lean proteins, such as turkey, and adding more vegetables and fruits to your menu. Try making mashed potatoes with low-fat milk and olive oil instead of butter. Use whole wheat bread for stuffing, and try to limit your intake of fried foods and sugary desserts.

Q: What are some fun and healthy activities I can do on Thanksgiving?

A: There are plenty of fun and healthy activities you can do on Thanksgiving. Consider going for a walk together as a family, playing an active game like tag or basketball, or having a dance party. You can also have a cooking competition or a baking contest to make healthier versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

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