Does Thanksgiving have to be the death of your diet goals? No! According to Croix Sather, author of the book Better Body Better Life, you can enjoy the holiday feast without destroying your hard work. Sather, who is best known for running across America in 100 days and for a record-breaking run through Death Valley (during which he pushed a 270-pound cart!), has the following tips to help you celebrate responsibly on Turkey Day. Eat up!

Portion size is key: You can enjoy turkey (white meat is healthier), stuffing and all the foods that come with Thanksgiving, but know how to ration them on your plate. Ideally, you should have three fist size servings on your plate, one for protein (turkey), one for carbohydrates (stuffing) and one of veggies (sweet potato or green beans).

Eat breakfast: Skipping a meal to “save” your calories so you can eat more at dinner is a bad idea.  Not only will you be starving your body of calories needed for energy, you’ll actually eat more erratically at the big meal to soothe your hunger.

Save leftovers for the next day: Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that’ you’ve had enough, so if you’re thinking about eating more, wait at least 20 minutes and then re-evaluate the situation.

Make time for exercise: Although you might find yourself extra busy this time of year, you’re also probably more stressed.  Exercise shouldn’t be neglected this time of year.  Even 20 minutes a day of walking or some physical activity is good for you both physically and mentally.

Switch out the products:  If you’re involved in preparing the food, use products lower in calories, fat and sugar.  Use healthier substitutes for ingredients like oil and butter; use evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream and plain fat-free yogurt instead of sour cream.

Drink plenty of water:  It will keep you feeling full and boost your metabolism.

Stay out of the kitchen and dining room:  Make the center of your Thanksgiving holiday the living room or outside in the fresh air, and only enter the kitchen to cook and the dining room when it’s time to eat.

What’s your approach to Thanksgiving: moderation or reckless abandon? Sound-off!