LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In this bizarre year, people are craving a bit of normalcy. A traditional Thanksgiving meal could provide that sense of comfort, but it can also be easy to overindulge.

Nicole McGloshen, a registered dietician with UofL Health, said balance and moderation are key.

“I am a dietician that believes everything is allowed on the plate even when not everyone is allowed at your Thanksgiving celebration. It’s all about balance really,” McGloshen said.

To achieve that balance she says half of your plate should be full of vegetables. The turkey and carbs should both be limited to just a quarter of the plate. Another problem for many is portions. McGloshen said you want to fill up your plate to a satisfying level the first time to avoid going back for seconds.

On top of that, there may be more leftovers than normal this year for the many families that are scaling down celebrations to prevent coronavirus spread. You’ll want to cut recipes in half to avoid being tempted with leftovers.

“Make sure you are celebrating Thanksgiving one time. Be careful about what you bring home with you as far as leftovers. Don’t pack enough to feed you for the week. Just pack enough for one meal and then be satisfied enough to step away from the Thanksgiving goodies,” McGloshen said.

If you’re not sure how to make a Thanksgiving meal with the proper proportions, there are resources available to make it easier.

“A lot of grocery stores right now are putting together little kits for families. Use that your advantage,” McGloshen said.

If you don’t end up with a balanced plate, you can make up for it a bit with a balanced lifestyle.

“Give yourself some grace. It is the holiday. I feel like we deserve to celebrate a little bit. Go for an extra walk. Workout a little more. Even if your gym is closed or your mobility is impacted, go for a walk or do some chair exercise or yoga,” McGloshen said.

She also wants to remind people that alcohol can not only add to your calorie count, but it can also lower your judgment. That, in turn, could lead to unnecessary snacking throughout the night.  If you do celebrate with some drinks, she recommends doing so in moderation.