One holiday won’t make or break health, weight according to OSF dietician

A Thanksgiving turkey
A Thanksgiving turkey(WEEK)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:04 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Holiday season officially arrives Thursday, along with the feast of carbs, starches, and proteins that give the season a reputation for expanding waistbands and stretching out pants.

Thanksgiving especially is known for the indulgence of food followed by a long nap. OSF Manager of Dietetic Services Ashley Simper said one meal isn’t likely to cause drastic consequences for someone’s overall health.

What could cause consequences is a season-long habit of indulgence, without balancing it out through physical activity or healthy eating. Simper suggests an 80/20 rule, which focuses on healthy eating 80% of the time, and indulging and enjoying foods 20% of the time.

“I think people need to focus on, again, one meal isn’t going to make or break things,” Simper said. “It’s important to allow yourself those traditions but to also balance it with healthy eating a lot of the other time and exercising.”

Simper suggests several tips to enjoy the holiday in a healthy, responsible way without sacrificing beloved foods.

First, don’t skip meals. It may be instinct to skip lunch or breakfast to “make room” for a large meal, but that can greatly increase the risk of overeating. She also suggests taking small portions of each desired food on the table instead of piling the portions on, as well as waiting 20 to 30 minutes before getting up to have seconds.

Simper also suggests finding a time in the day, either before or after eating, to get in some exercise like a walk to help burn calories.

You can watch the full conversation with Simper below: