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DOH-Leon Offers Healthy Thanksgiving Eating, Exercise Tips

By Christopher Tittel

November 21, 2018

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Leon County wishes everyone a safe, enjoyable and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

With this in mind, DOH-Leon encourages everyone to give serious thought to the types and amounts of food consumed and consider incorporating even light exercise into the festivities.

“It’s pretty common for people to pack on the pounds during the holidays, especially with so much emphasis on consuming large meals and multiple trips to the buffet table,” DOH-Leon Health Officer Claudia Blackburn said. “There are simple eating and exercise tips that anyone can take to maintain a healthy weight during the holiday season and all year round.”

Tips for Thanksgiving include, but are not limited to:

  • Cook Healthy. Cut back on sugar and fat in recipes whenever you can. Reduce use of oil and butter wherever you can. Use plain yogurt to cream dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles. Replace sugar with sugar substitutes and oil in baked goods with fruit purees whenever possible. Use fat-free chicken broth for turkey basting and gravies.
  • Eat Breakfast. Eating even a small breakfast will help control the hunger pangs and the urge to overindulge at dinner.
  • Police Portions. Survey the buffet and select only the foods that you must have. Serve up reasonable portions of those foods (using a smaller plate can help with this). Resist the urge to go back for seconds, third or fourths.
  • Savor Flavor. Eat slowly, taking time between bites to enjoy the food and allow your body to digest what you've already consumed. You might even consider spreading dinner out across the day to ensure reasonable amounts of food are consumed in each sitting.
  • Watch Alcohol Intake. Remember that alcohol has calories, too.
  • Get Active. If you're already engaged in a fitness routine, extend it in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day. If not, take walks before and after feasting.

For additional tips on how to help maintain a healthy body weight even during the holidays, visit Healthiest Weight Florida at http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/ .

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The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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