Turkey day is coming, and of course, you want to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal! Whether you are watching your waistline or just trying to make healthier choices, it can be a challenge to avoid overindulging during the holidays. The truth is that you can enjoy everything that Thanksgiving has to offer without completely blowing your lifestyle. By following a few simple rules, you can have a thinner Thanksgiving and still enjoy those traditional favorites guilt-free.
Eat Breakfast and Lunch
Don’t fast in anticipation of the big meal. While it seems to make sense to hold off on consuming all those delightful calories until dinner, it can actually be your undoing! By eating early, you will have more control. If you choose meals that are high in protein and fiber, it will curb your appetite and allow you the room to be selective.
Control your portions
With so many things to choose from, it’s hard to know what foods to pick. However, don’t waste precious calories on foods that you can have any day of the week. Go for the delicacies that only come around once a year; just be realistic in your portions. Only take a reasonable amount, something that will satisfy the palate but not overindulge. Another good move: don’t partake in seconds. That’s what leftovers are for, right?
Pick the right foods
It’s best to eat the white meat instead of the dark. Avoid the urge to drown your mashed potatoes completely in gravy or eat every marshmallow on top of the yams. Shave off a few calories by going light on the stuffing and cranberry sauce. If you have iron-clad willpower, you may save more calories by avoiding the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. By cutting just a few corners, you can eliminate a few hundred calories without sacrificing too much on the palate. WIN!
If you happen to be the chef this year, here are a few tips you can use to lighten those calories. Use sugar substitutes and lighter oils in your favorite dishes. Use fat-free chicken broth for the turkey baste and gravy. Lowfat plain yogurt or sour cream is an ideal substitute for butter on the mashed potatoes or those creamy dips.
It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to know your stomach is full. If you eat slowly and enjoy the feast instead of scarfing the goodies down, you’ll feel fuller faster, thus eating less. Another trick to feeling fuller is to eat more vegetables, fruits, salads and other high-water foods. Remember those alcohol calories will add up quickly, so be mindful of how much you drink! Drinking a glass of water between those yummy spiked drinks will help slow things down even more.
Thanksgiving, by far, is one of the best meals of the year and it’s meant to be enjoyed. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty about enjoying a great meal surrounded by those you love. If you follow these few simple guidelines, you will have more calorie-freedom to survive the next round… Christmas!