This year, Thanksgiving and formal are arriving on our calendars hand in hand. Just when we thought awkward date nights were over, there's an even more high-key event where it's expected we show face and pull off a way too revealing dress with our arms thrown over a dreamy guy. As soon as we thought we could politely say "ciao" to our summer diets, we must keep our bodies looking fire while simultaneously trying to have a healthy Thanksgiving (if that's even remotely possible). 

There are two options we could take. 1. We could be incredibly unhappy this Thanksgiving and pass the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, and the pumpkin pie, and instead we could force our mothers to make everything gluten-free while our dad is grilling a tofurkey. Or, 2. if you're a dreamer like me, I believe there are ways to healthily eat what we want and when we want, while still feeling confident enough to show off a dress to a stranger of a date. There's a fine line between a strict diet and having the entirety of our aunt's apple pie all for ourselves. This fine line is what will save us this Thursday. This fine line will save us from gripping our bloated turkey tummies on the dance floor in only a couple of weeks.

Here are 10 simple tips to having a somewhat manageably healthy Thanksgiving. No, it will not miraculously make you lose those 10 pounds you've been wanting to lose since last winter break last year. Also, I am not saying your appearance matters on formal night. By no means am I saying you must look a certain way in order to pull off your upcoming formal, and by no means am I saying you should hold off on the stuffing this Thanksgiving. My only goal is to make you feel healthy and confident once you slip on that dress, while also being able to eat whatever TF you want.

1. Limit the Portions 

While I nibble on my Strong Hearts Mediterranean Salad, I dream of turkey with gravy, along with stuffing and some pumpkin pie. It's no surprise that once this meal is finally served to me this Thanksgiving, I will indulge... incredibly. However, there's a healthy way to indulge. If you love stuffing, limit the portion size to a fistful. If you're a gravy-fanatic, satisfy your taste buds with a spoonful instead of a boatful. In order to save yourself from severe bloating issues, take each portion lightly. Don't indulge all at once. After all, don't you want to enjoy your meal as long as you can?

2. Maybe Stick to a Smaller Plate? 

Another tip to avoid feeling bloated is to eat with a smaller plate. No, I do not mean to eat off of an appetizer plate. I'm simply saying stay clear of a dinner plate that's capable of holding 4 servings of Thanksgiving dinner. This will help avoid you from eating too much (and eating too fast). 

3. Eat, Don't Inhale 

Once the food is in front of us, we're tempted to eat as fast as our shotgun time. I'm sure many of you have heard your mother badger you about eating slow. As much as she nags you, she's right. It's scientifically proven that it takes 20 minutes for our brain to fully send out signals that you are full. If you eat faster than that, you may be eating more than what your body can handle. Enjoy your feast, but at a pace your body can handle.

4. Hydrate 

When in doubt, drink water. If you face your plate with a dehydrated body, you'll be filling your body with calories when, in reality, your body is just hungry for hydration. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout your day of slaving away in the kitchen and suffering dreadful conversations with your drunk uncle. You'll need it.

5. Don't Skip Breakfast

As much as we love to save our appetite for the big feast later in the day, it's better for your metabolism to eat in the A.M. This will not only avoid binging later on, but will keep your digestive system on track. Make sure to start your day off with some substantial calories, not just sugary pastries.

6. Offer to Go Outside 

Believe me, Thanksgiving is the day of staying in your pj's until 4pm (and watching the dog show after the Thanksgiving parade). We all know that we won't want anything other than to sleep after our big family feast. But, before you get too drowsy from the turkey, offer to go on a walk with one of your family members (not with someone who's clearly drunk and will probably end up vomiting all over your slippers). The fresh air is great for your health and will get you one step closer to having a healthy Thanksgiving.

7. Don't Skip Dessert

I would probably be kicked off of Spoon University if I told you to avoid dessert. Go nuts. I'm a sucker for sweets. Like I said, eat slow and eat only what your body is capable of. Enjoy in moderation!

8. Minimize Stress

It's easy to get warped up in stressful family conversations about school, family matters, relationships, and all that fun stuff. If you find yourself getting anxious in a conversation, take a breather and walk a lap. Avoid yourself from punching your older brother and spend some time with your dog for the next couple of minutes to calm down. The worst thing to do when eating is to feel anxious and stressed. #mentalhealthmatters

9. Go for the Right Booze

As I'm sure you all are aware, alcohol has calories. If you're hoping to get sloshed in front of your family, stick to wine instead of sugary mixed drinks. Don't worry, you'll still get just as boozed up while still maintaining a reasonable calorie intake. Healthy thanksgiving or hangover thanksgiving? Lmk. 

10. Wait to Go to Sleep

If you're planning on passing out right after you eat, wait an hour or so to lie down. Keep your digestive track in a happy mood and let your intestines do their thing for a solid hour before heading to take a well-deserved snooze. This will help avoid you from feeling way too acidic and getting reflux.