Thanksgiving Dinner-Hopping Strategies

You can do a lot of damage by eating a full plate each time you visit a family member or friend on Thanksgiving. Here's how you can prevent stuffing yourself.
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Thanksgiving feast

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Are you a feast hopper-- stopping by 2 or even 3 Turkey Day meals every year? Follow these tips so you can enjoy holiday favorites without feeling like you need to roll home by the end of the evening.

Strategy #1: Come Hungry, Not Starving

Arrive at your first feast famished and you’ll probably end up over-stuffing yourself. You’ll feel tired (turkey coma?) and can even end up with heartburn. At the next house, you’ll turn down Aunt Mary’s famous pie and insult the whole family (oh, the drama!). Have a small snack about 30-45 minutes before your first stop. A piece of fruit, granola bar or nonfat Greek yogurt will do the trick.

Strategy #2: Enjoy the Conversation

Instead of shoveling food with lightening speed, put down the fork and enjoy chatting with family and friends. This also helps slow down your food flow, enabling you to eat less and leaving room for feast #2.

Strategy #3: Choose Wisely

There are usually several favorites you look forward to each year. Instead of filling up on everyday foods (like bread), select small portions of 2 to 3 dishes that make the holiday special for you. This way you can enjoy the feast you’re attending but still leave room to eat more at your next stop.

Strategy #4: Liquids Matter

Virgin drinks or alcoholic cocktails: they all count. Guzzling down apple cider, hot cocoa, beer or mixed drinks can put a calorie dent in your day and quickly fill you up. Instead, opt for water and save a special drink or two for your last stop.

Strategy #5: Suggest Holiday Games

A family game of chess or backgammon can help move folks away from the table—and can be lots of fun! If you’re lucky to have good weather, pre-feast football game or post-feast family stroll can be very refreshing.

TELL US: What’s your strategy when Thanksgiving dinner hopping?
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