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Eat This Not That: Thanksgiving Edition and Survival Guide ??

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Before I dive into the nitty-gritty of making the best decisions and layout my “eat this not that” choices for this coming Thanksgiving. I want to pause for a minute and make sure you realize Thanksgiving is a holiday for giving thanks for all the beautiful blessings in your life. One of those blessings is having a body. So this Thanksgiving and every day, make choices that honor your body and show your miraculous body. You love it. We all know how NOT taking care of our bodies feels. You know that gross, bloated, overly stuffed feeling that never bodes well for us. Yeah, let’s try and avoid that this year and choose the best options and healthier alternatives this year on turkey day and, for that matter, every day!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around that corner? I’m here to help you navigate the day without gaining a gazillion pounds (super over-exaggeration, but you get the point!). More importantly, I want to support you so that you do not backtrack on any weight loss victories! Stick with me, and together we can do this!

Everything is better when you make it a game, so here we go! Let’s test your healthy eating smarts and see how many of these “eat this, not that” you get right! Hopefully, this game will be fun but will also help you make better choices this year.

The Ultimate Eat This Not That Thanksgiving Show Down:

Eat This Not That- Thanksgiving Edition
The ultimate showdown of your Thanksgiving favorites!
  • Dark Meat 4oz with Canned Jellied Sauce Vs. White Meat 4oz with 2 Tbsp Homemade Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Vs. Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole Vs. Stuffing
  • Corn Bread with Butter Vs. Dinner Roll with Butter
  • Pumpkin Pie Vs. Pecan Pie

Let’s start with the first match-up. Dark Meat 4oz with Canned Jellied Sauce Vs. White Meat 4oz with 2 Tbsp Homemade Cranberry Sauce: This one you can probably guess. Although dark meat is not too bad for you, and in some circles (Keto/Paleo, the healthy fats in the dark meat are sought after), sticking with white meat is a good way to save some fat and calories. So the winner is White Meat. (I’m pretty sure you will not struggle with getting enough fat in white meat is a solid choice.) For the cranberry sauce with an estimated breakdown of 110 calories vs. 130 calories, stick with homemade cranberry sauce over super processed canned cranberries. If you’re making the sauce yourself, you could make a swap for a better option for sugar like Stevia or Monk Fruit and save even more calories and seriously cut the grams of sugar you are consuming for the day.

Now For Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Vs. Candied Sweet Potatoes: Generally, Sweet Potatoes would win out in a match-up such as this, but on Thanksgiving, when they’re churched up with sugar and marshmallows, you’re better to stick with spuds and Gravy! The Winner Mashed Potatoes and Gravy 140 Calories Vs. 250 Calories A pretty clear winner on this one.

Up Next: Green Bean Casserole Vs. Stuffing… You might want to steer clear of both, but the least naughty of the two, and the winner of this battle is Green Bean Casserole 100 Calories per serving vs. 175 Calories. 

The Next Match-Up: Corn Bread with Butter Vs. Dinner Roll with Butter … The extra kick of sugar in cornbread makes it the loser in this match-up. The Winner… stick with the Dinner Roll and Butter 130 Calories Vs. 190 Calories. If you’re in charge of bringing the rolls, pick a healthier roll with whole grains.

Last But Not Least: Pumpkin Pie Vs. Pecan Pie …. Don’t be tricked by the fact that pecans are good for you. It is the mass amounts of corn syrup that make pecan pie the LOSER! Stick with Pumpkin Pie, and you’ll fair much better if you’re going to indulge in dessert! Winner Pumpkin Pie 335 Calories Vs. 450 Calories 

For more information on the matchups I reviewed, this article was found on UPMC My Health Matters.

Navigating the holidays while trying to honor your health and weight loss journey can be tricky. It’s easy to get sucked back into the “treat myself” mentality, and before you know it, you’ve completely fallen off the wagon, and your new healthy habits have gone out the window. I want you to remember this is not about feeling guilty or shame-y about your choices. We are flipping the narrative on that. Reframe your wording to say I choose to eat healthy foods that honor my body and fuel it properly. Take a deep breath; doesn’t that just feel better than the feeling of restricting yourself and saying, “I can’t, I’m on a Diet” This is not about diets. You are taking massive action to choose yourself! Okay, coaching tangent over… With that said and off my chest, I’ll share some of my favorite tips for navigating the holidays.

Here Are My TOP 10 Tips to Survive and Thrive on Thanksgiving:

Eat This Not That Thanksgiving Survival Guide
You CAN enjoy the day without backtracking! Its all about making better choices that honor you!
  1. Move Your Body: Sign up for a Turkey Trot, go for a long walk after dinner, or play a game of football. The movement will help you burn extra calories but also aid in digesting your meal.
  2. EAT Breakfast: If you are not a pro at intermittent fasting and not eating will only lead you to binge come dinner time, make sure you eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. This will help you start the day off strong.
  3. Watch Portions: I am all about including your favorite foods on your weight loss journey, so if you love your Mom’s candied yams, by all means, enjoy! But do watch your portions and savor every bite!
  4. Use Healthy Swaps To Your Advantage: A series of simple swaps can save you hundreds of calories. My favorites swaps are half and half for heavy cream, 0% Fat-Free Yogurt, Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream, Lite Butter for the full-fat version, Wheat or Almond Flour for White Flour. These small changes add up to big results.
  5. Drink your WATER: Don’t forget to drink it up. This will help you feel full faster, and you won’t mistake thirst for hunger.
  6. Listen to Your Body: When you’re FULL… STOP. One of the most significant shifts you can make to lose weight is listening to your body and STOP when you are full.
  7. Watch Your Beverage Choices: It is easy for calories to add up when you’re drinking them. A cup of egg nog, a glass of punch, wine, lemonades, ciders these seemingly harmless drinks can add hundreds of calories with no benefits to helping you feel full …just empty calories. 
  8. Start With These Foods First: First step, load your plate with primarily lean meats, such as white turkey or other protein and veggies. Then add in little scoops of the fun stuff.
  9. Be SMART: Stick with the aforementioned better food choices. Avoid the worst foods, the ones you know you’ll regret. Have a game plan all mapped out in your mind on what you plan on eating and what you’ll skip. Remember, Aunt Karen’s fruit cake is NOT worth it, no matter how it may affect her “feelings” remember, you’re choosing your own health first these days!
  10. Give Yourself Grace: If you happen to overindulge, don’t beat yourself up! Go right back to your awesome healthier eating habits the next day… Please don’t fall into shame, guilt, and the “oh what the hell, I’ve blown it” mentality and let it stretch out into an extended stay of gluttony. Course correct immediately!

Dear friends, I hope you have an AMAZING Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for you all. I LOVE all my readers! It’s the greatest gift to connect with readers from all over the world, sharing my passion for helping others wake up and live their best life every day.

Much Love,

** For more Eat This Not That, check out the many diet books and guides written by David Zinczenko on Amazon.


  1. Such a helpful post when wanting to be healthier around the holidays! Love it!

  2. Thanks for all these great tips to keep me on target for the holidays. It is so easy to overindulge and then regret all of it come January!

  3. Love, love, love this!! So helpful & great tips!! I will be keeping these in my mind come the holidays!

  4. 4 stars
    This is useful for many. It’s so important to move daily and get that water in! But swapping out foods on Thanksgiving? Whatchu talkin’ bout? 🙂

  5. Valentina says:

    5 stars
    I love this! It is such a helpful post and will definitely be using these tricks during the holidays!

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