Close this search box.

7 Tips to Not Overindulge This Thanksgiving

A group of friends and family pass plates around at Thanksgiving
A group of friends and family pass plates around at Thanksgiving



One of America’s favorite holidays is just around the corner: Thanksgiving. This is a special day that is set aside for us to celebrate with friends and family, catch up on the past year and of course, indulge in some delicious foods.

However, there is a way you can participate in this Thanksgiving without feeling like you’ve just blown your diet and fitness plan completely out of the water. While it can be easy to dismiss the holiday as ‘oh, it’s just one day!’ and go ahead and treat yourself, you don’t want it to snowball and tempt you to fall back into old bad habits. 

If this is a concern of yours, we have some easy tips below – keep reading to learn more!




If your Thanksgiving celebration includes some of your regular crowd, odds are good that you know what each person is bringing. Maybe even your family handed out an organized assignment chart beforehand and you know exactly what is on the menu. 

If so, then you know what is coming and can plan out your meal – what you’re having, as well as what you’re avoiding. Try to stick to this plan: one protein, one veggie, and one carb. With this in mind for your holiday dinner, we have recommendations:

  • PROTEIN: Try to stick to ham or just the white meat of the turkey. If you are vegan or vegetarian, plan on bringing your own plant-based protein dish.
  • CARB: Potatoes and rice are fine, just try to avoid the butter, as this can layer on unwanted calories and carbs.
  • VEGGIES: Green beans, yams, corn, carrots, and peas are great choices for your vegetable option. 




Some ingredients can be sneaky, adding up in fat and calories that you didn’t intend on having or aren’t a part of your diet plan. This includes butter, sugar, bread crumbs, and sauces. We’re not saying that you can’t treat yourself to a delicious yeast roll or a slice of your grandmother’s pecan pie, but just be sure not to treat this meal like it’s your last one on earth.




While Thanksgiving is a smorgasbord of different desserts and it can be tempting to double back and try them all, remember that restraint is key! By carefully planning ahead, you can choose which one you want. Or, if you do want to go ahead and try several, make yourself a little sample platter, opting for a tiny serving of each. 




Another tempting Thanksgiving trap – grazing. While you’re at your holiday festivity, there will likely be various snacks about. While some may be healthier than others, such as grapes or carrot sticks, try not to graze too much after the meal is already done. If it will keep you from going hog wild at dinner, feel free to munch on a few crackers beforehand. Remember – just pace yourself!




Once the dishes are done and everything is packed away into Tupperware, it can be so easy to settle in on the couch and veg out. However, this is terrible not just for your digestive system, but for your body overall. 

Instead, grab a football and toss it around in the yard with your family. Or take the family dog and your favorite cousin for a walk around the neighborhood. Plus, this way you will be out of the house and away from any leftovers that might be calling your name.




Sometimes, our family members just don’t understand. Food is a love language for many, and they may see it as harmless to say, “wait, just take one more helping!” or “did you try my apple crumble cake?”. Odds are high that they mean well, but don’t hesitate or feel bad about putting your foot down and prioritizing your health. Just explain that this is something you’re doing for yourself. This will likely be a learning experience for your family, too!




When the meal is finally over and you’re back at home, don’t skip the gym! Jump back into training at our Westwood fitness center, focusing on burning off those calories and kickstarting your fitness program once more. After all, Christmas and all of its delicious treats are going to be knocking at your door next!

Here’s a few great ways to refocus your fitness with Woodside:

  • GROUP FITNESS CLASSES: If you’re wanting to really start off with a bang, join in on one of our 110+ group fitness classes. No matter what your fitness level is, or where your interests lie, there is something on our schedule that is right for you!

    Pilates, yoga, spin – you name it, and we can help you burn off that pumpkin pie. Grab a friend and give it a try!
  • PERSONAL TRAINING: For someone who is in need of a little more focused direction and one-on-one style fitness motivation, set up a time with a personal trainer at our Westwood fitness center. There are so many advantages to utilizing a personal trainer.

    Don’t worry, personal trainers aren’t there to be scary or yell at you or make you feel bad if you slipped up and doubled up on your portion of mashed potatoes. Rather, they want to see you succeed and stay motivated even through setbacks. After all, we’re only human and it happens to the best of us!
  • DETOX WITH CLEAN FOOD: Everyone deserves a cheat day, and Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion for it. So if for some reason or another you caved into temptation and did end up overindulging, the important thing is to not sweat it – you can’t take it back, after all! Instead, just focus on putting your best foot forward.

    Try to detox with clean food! You can do this by heading on over to our kitchen and grabbing a bite to eat. Our fresh, seasonal menu is prepared by our Executive Chef and features meals that are nutritious and balanced. 

Get the Latest from Woodside

Stay current with Woodside by subscribing to our email updates.