_ Skip the bread: Since you'll probably be loading up on carbs like mac and cheese, stuffing and pie, do yourself a favor and skip the everyday carbs from bread and dinner rolls, which can save you 400 to 600 excess calories.
_ Beware of the booze: Alcohol is loaded with empty calories. Worse, it stimulates your appetite. One typical mixed drink can cost you 350 to 500 calories. An average five-ounce serving of wine is 95 to 100 calories. Though they're empty, alcohol calories add up quickly to potentially wreck your waistline. So mind your margaritas.
_ Remember the brain-to-belly connection: It takes about 20 minutes for the hypothalamus (the region of your brain that controls hunger) to register to the brain that you are full.
Instead of inhaling your dinner, take your time and really enjoy each delectable bite. Engage in the stimulating conversation, and drink equally from the water and wine glasses.
Last but not least, remember that a typical Thanksgiving meal is about 3,000 calories. Burning that one plate off would require four to five hours of moderate cardiovascular exercise.
Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears Wednesdays. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.