3 Tips to Help You Avoid a Food Hangover on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving at Nava
Medically Reviewed
November 19, 2020

Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday for one big, fat reason, stuffing. And we don’t mean the dish! The holiday is synonymous with overeating.

Even a relatively nutritious meal can knock out your health plan if you overindulge. So, please keep reading to learn how to eat healthily on Thanksgiving from our team of Clinical Nutritionists.

Eating Healthily

To help you avoid a food hangover, we’ve compiled these three tips!

1. Eat slowly.

It takes 20 minutes for satiety hormones to signal the brain that your stomach is full. Most Americans complete a meal in just three minutes!

This year, try eating slowly enough that it takes 20 minutes to finish your first plate. We bet you don’t even want a second!

And, to take this tip to the next level, practice putting your fork down three times during the meal.

2. Eat a complete, balanced breakfast Thanksgiving morning.

Going into the big meal, hungry is a set up to overdo it. Feed your body healthy meals at your normal times up until the festivities.

3. Fill your plate with fiber, fiber, fiber.

Plant food with fiber increases feelings of satiety and keeps you fuller longer. So, you’re less likely to go for round two when you’re relaxing Thanksgiving evening. Please take a look at our favorite fiber-packed dishes below.

Fiber-packed Side Dishes

One of the best tips to avoid overeating calories, saturated fat, and sugar on Thanksgiving is to ensure your table has plenty of healthy Thanksgiving sides.

Here’s a list of plant-based Thanksgiving sides packed with fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

  • Quinoa salad with pomegranate seeds tossed in vinaigrette
  • Butternut squash or Pumpkin soup (*substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth for milk and cream)
  • Roasted carrots in olive oil and thyme
  • Irish mashed potatoes (*substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth for milk and cream)
  • Brussels sprouts and rosemary roasted in olive oil (*sprinkle in cranberries for some holiday flavor)
  • Garlicky green beans

And, as a bonus, try our favorite healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipe!

3 Layer Pumpkin Pie Parfaits

Enjoy our low-fat Thanksgiving dessert recipe!


For the granola mixture:

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 Tb melted butter (coconut oil if vegan)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp:
    • Salt
    • Pumpkin pie spice
    • Cinnamon

For the yogurt and pumpkin layers:

  • 3 cups plain Greek yogurt (low fat preferable) or coconut cream (low fat preferable)
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tb pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 tsp:
    • Vanilla extract
    • Pumpkin pie spice
    • Cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.
  2. Make the granola mixture.
    • Mix all granola ingredients in a large bowl.
    • Stir to coat the gluten-free rolled oats.
  3. Spread the granola mixture on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Allow the granola mixture to cool fully after baking.
  5. Make the yogurt layer.
    • Combine the Greek yogurt or Coconut cream with one tablespoon maple syrup and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
    • Mix using a hand mixer until smooth.
  6. Make the pumpkin layer.
    • Combine the pumpkin, one tablespoon of maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.
    • Mix using a hand mixer until smooth.
  7. Build your parfaits.

Building Your Parfaits

    1. Gather your 8 oz cups.
    2. To the bottom of the cup, add the granola mixture. Be sure it’s enough to cover the bottom of the cup fully.
    3. Add a pumpkin layer.
    4. Then, add a yogurt layer.
    5. Finally, add another layer of granola mixture.
    6. Continue building until the cups are filled to the top.
    7. Finish by sprinkling any remaining granola mixture on top of each cup.

Safe Thanksgiving Family Gathering Ideas

Health and safety are particularly important this year as we continue to face the Covid-19 pandemic. We all have a responsibility to keep gatherings safe.

The CDC recommends limiting gatherings to only members of your household. Consider the following if you want to spread the holiday spirit with family or friends outside of your household.

If you choose to gather virtually:

  • It can be extra fun to cook the same recipe while on a video call.
  • Share a new tradition.

If you choose to gather in person with folks outside of your household:

  1. Open windows (weather permitting).
  2. Turn on fans throughout the space to optimize ventilation.
  3. Consider the duration of the gathering. The shorter, the better.
    • As the CDC website states, your risk of infection greatly increases if you stand within 6 feet of someone who has Covid-19 for 15 minutes or more.
  4. Don’t forget, mask up!

Plus, don’t forget to take your zinc leading up to Thanksgiving to give your immune system a boost!

Already Feel Your Gut Has Taken a Hit?

Are you experiencing indigestion, such as bloating, abdominal pain, or uncomfortable fullness leading up to Thanksgiving? You’re in luck!

Nava just launched a brand new program, Gut Restore. This nutrition program includes a GI-MAP stool test, the most advanced DNA testing to identify the microbes that live in your GI tract, including:

  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • And more

With a map this accurate and our clinical nutritionist’s guidance, you can truly heal your gut. Don’t settle on your health. Contact us today! Call Nava to ask about Gut Restore.

Article Name
3 Tips to Help You Avoid a Food Hangover on Thanksgiving! Plus Our Low Fat Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe - Pumpkin Pie Parfaits!
One of the best tips to avoid overeating calories, saturated fat, and sugar on Thanksgiving is to ensure your table has plenty of healthy Thanksgiving sides. Contact us today to help you!