You’re looking for weight loss tips because you want to do Thanksgiving differently this year, right? Usually, you eat until you’re stuffed then fall asleep on the couch and wake up in the 4th quarter of some football game. Oh wait, that’s every man in your family.

No, you retreat to a bedroom and pass out in a food coma on a proper bed like a lady, right? You tell yourself, it was all that tryptophan from the turkey. But does the tryptophan in turkey really make you feel tired? Not really.

It seems like this common myth dates back to the Pilgrim era, but don’t just blame the bird for leaving you lethargic, because this is one myth that’s only marginally true…Turkey contains an essential amino acid called L-tryptophan, which the body uses to produce the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin can help us sleep by improving our mood, and promoting relaxation.

As it turns out, turkey contains almost the same amount of tryptophan as chicken, pork, and beef. What’s more, egg whites, soybeans and cheddar cheese have even more tryptophan than turkey! So what are the real culprits behind your post-Thanksgiving marathon nap?

Aside from typical overconsumption of food and alcohol, it’s usually just the result of too many carb-heavy foods and throwing your usual healthy diet out the window. Mashed potatoes, cornbread, stuffing, and apple pie–oh my!–all of those starchy carbs can quickly raise blood sugar, and may encourage sleep.

This year, begin a new tradition. Eat a little less, drink a little more, feel a lot better, and maybe you won’t even need the nap. You’ll be ready to show Black Friday who’s boss.

9 Weight Loss Tips During Thanksgiving

  1. Eat consistently throughout the day beginning with a well-balanced healthy breakfast.
  2. Choose from your arsenal of healthy snacks before you go to a holiday dinner (such as 2 high fiber crackers with 2 tsp natural peanut butter or a hardboiled egg) to control hunger.
  3. Offer to bring a dish. There may not be many healthy foods offered, so at least you’ll have one go-to since you’ll know exactly what’s in it.
  4. Load up on lighter and cleaner appetizers and healthy fats– such as crudité with a portion of hummus.
  5. Set your sip limit – give yourself a drink maximum before the meal begins. Remember to sip slowly and choose lower-calorie and sugar options such as vodka and seltzer or wine spritzers.
  6. Exercise! An hour spent burning calories will also motivate you to make healthier choices later in the day.
  7. Control your portions – this includes veggies. Unless you’ve prepared them, they could be loaded with sneaky ingredients like margarine or sugary sauces. Don’t let desserts derail your healthy lifestyle either. Slice your own pie so you can control the size. And, skip that crust.
  8. Listen to your body and stop eating once you’re slightly satisfied. Period. You’ll have much better memories of a meal enjoyed than a meal over-indulged in. Focus on your fam and friends.
  9. Drink lots of water. This will help to keep you from overeating and help you feel full so you don’t actually stuff yourself full.

And, don’t forget – enjoy your day, indulge in your favorite foods wisely, and have a happy Thanksgiving!