Thanksgiving can pack a punch to your diet, but it doesn’t have to completely derail you. There are a few things you can do throughout the day to make sure it’s not a tragedy.

Once you read through the tips, make sure to check out the recipe for one of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

1. Don’t starve yourself before the big meal

It may seem like a good idea to “save” room by skipping breakfast and possibly lunch before the big meal is served. But if you show up starving, you’re likely to eat like you’ve been deserted on an island.

It’s suggested eating about an hour before the big meal can help. Try one of these options: 2 to 3 ounces of lean protein (e.g. a 3-ounce can of tuna), two boiled eggs, a bowl of vegetable soup or some raw veggies.

2. Keep it green

Thanksgiving isn’t known for piles of green vegetables, but it’s a good way to balance out all the starches and heavy meats.

Some options: raw baby kale, baby spinach or a collard green salad with red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and real crumbled bacon on top.

3. Upgrade your grains

White rolls and pasta are delicious, but you can upgrade your meal by choosing whole grain options instead. Whole-grain rolls, artichoke pasta or brown rice are good options. Or if you’re adventurous quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat are also great.

4. Eat mindfully

Slow down and enjoy each bite and when you feel about 80 percent full- take a break. You can always go back for seconds.

5. Stay active

While Thanksgiving is a day for eating and football, starting your day with a bit of exercise will get the blood flowing and make you feel a little less guilty about sitting down to a massive meal.

Some options: many communities will hold Turkey Trot 5k events, or head to the local park to toss the football and take a walk, or you could just head outside for a walk/run in the neighborhood.

6. Light on the alcohol

Unfortunately, alcohol is packed with excess calories. For example, that glass of wine could pack on an extra 150 calories to your meal.

7. Indulge your sweet tooth

Go ahead and have some pie, but grab the small plate for your sweet tooth sampling.

caramel apple
(Courtesy Food Network)

Still planning your Thanksgiving meal? Here’s a recipe favorite of Saxon’s team:

Caramel Apple Pie

1 whole pie crust
6 cups (to 7 cups) peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples
½ whole (juice of) lemon
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
1-1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup quick oats
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Pecans, chopped
½ jar (or more) Caramel Topping

  1. In a bowl mix peeled apples, lemon juice, sugar, 4 tablespoons of flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. For crumb topping, cut the butter into the ½ cup of flour with a pastry cutter, then add in brown sugar, oats, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. Add apples to the prepared pie shell and top with crumb topping.
  4. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove foil from crust and place back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
  6. Chop pecans, and when 5 minutes remain, sprinkle them over the pie.
  7. Finish baking.
  8. Remove the pie from the oven and pour ½ jar of the caramel topping over the top.

Thanksgiving Day tips provided by Kimberly Garrison, Daily News Personal Fitness Columnist for