The Food-Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Healthy Thanksgiving

“We’re going to have a healthy Thanksgiving this year!”

If you’re like me, those words are cause for serious concern. Because what is Thanksgiving without stuffing, sweet potatoes with gooey marshmallows, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie? Thanksgiving is a greatest hits collection of food that feeds the stomach and soothes the soul. It is the culinary equivalent of being tucked into a warm bed on a cold night.

But, where does that leave you if you’re on the hook for hosting duties this year and you want to try to be healthier in your approach? How do you reconcile your health and weight loss goals with hungry guests who are expecting — nay, demanding — all the Thanksgiving classics?

It’s time to deploy some psychology.

Set the Mood

Eating, like a lot of things we do, is tied to our emotions. You’ve heard the phrase “eating your feelings” before, and there’s definitely a scientific basis to it — when we’re stressed, we tend to overeat, and when we’re relaxed, we don’t usually think about eating.

As the host, you can make your party more relaxing by dimming the lights and playing soft music in the background. According to a study by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, soft lighting and music in restaurants led diners to eat 175 fewer calories while feeling more satisfied.

But, the easiest thing you can do to set the mood is have Ionix® Supreme available for your guests. Ionix is formulated with a blend of plant-based adaptogens and helps protect against the negative effects of stress.† Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase two or more bottles of Ionix, you can receive a free Sleep Support & Renewal™ (use code GETSLEEP at checkout) to help you get a good night’s sleep without a food coma after a healthy Thanksgiving!†

Create Food-Free Zones

The two main contributors to mindless eating are proximity and visibility. And if your guests are sitting at the Thanksgiving table staring at a glorious spread of food, you’re checking off both boxes and putting your guests in prime position to begin mainlining mashed potatoes.

The solution? Keep all the food together in one area where guests can make their plates, and then create a food-free zone where the socializing and eating can take place. For example, if everyone will be eating at the dining room table, set up a buffet line in the kitchen, away from where people will be eating.

The goal in this setup is for your guests to start having fun socializing and either forget about going back for seconds, or at the very least, think twice about it because you’ve created a physical distance between them and the food.

Manipulate Supply and Demand

You’ve definitely done this before: Step up to serve yourself from a platter of food, quickly glance around to see who hasn’t served themselves from the platter, and then serve yourself what you think is a fair portion.

Yep, that’s supply and demand — you perceive a certain supply of food, which creates a proportional demand in your mind to be fair to the other guests.

As the host, you can exploit this by serving the higher calorie foods like pasta salad, stuffing, or mashed potatoes in smaller bowls or platters while serving healthier foods like vegetables in larger ones. It’s subtle, but what you’re doing is creating less demand for the unhealthier food and more demand for the good stuff.

Use Smaller Plates

You’ve probably heard that using smaller plates is a great way to reduce calories. But, that little trick has less to do with making it difficult to pile your plate with food and more to do with the fact that we’re terrible at estimating serving sizes. As it turns out, we need context clues — like the size of our plates — to figure out what an appropriate serving is.

Research suggests that when we use smaller plates, we overestimate the amount of food we’re consuming and end up eating less, while using larger plates causes us to underestimate our consumption and eat more. All of which is to say, swap out those plates — even if it means using paper plates (if someone wants to get all judgy about having to eat on paper plates, you can kindly offer to let them do the dishes!).

Don’t Let Leftovers Hijack Your Health Kick

Here’s the thing — Thanksgiving is just ONE day. We certainly don’t want you to miss out on all the seasonal favorites, and it’s absolutely all right to enjoy yourself for one day. But, with the usual abundance of leftovers, it can be astonishingly easy to let one day turn into one week.

So, here’s what you can do: Encourage your guests to take home as many leftovers as possible. And to satisfy your cravings for the usual holiday leftovers, make healthy swaps with our seasonal goodies like Vanilla Cranberry Almond IsaLean® Bars or any of the limited-edition shake flavors we have available!

In fact, we’ve made it easy to enjoy all your Isagenix holiday favorites with a Holiday Bundle containing Salted Caramel IsaLean Shake, Vanilla Cranberry Almond IsaLean Bars, SeasonsJoy™ Essential Oil Blend, an IsaDelight® variety pack, and a canister of Raspberry Cheesecake IsaLean Shake! When purchasing the Holiday Bundle, you save US$39.95/CA$42.95 compared to the cost of buying the products separately. That’s almost like getting a free canister of IsaLean Shake. Who needs old leftovers when you can treat yourself with Isagenix?

For more holiday inspiration and healthy tips, check out our Healthy Giving Guide!

 

​​†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.