When most people think of Thanksgiving, they think of family and buffet-style meals. Eating anywhere between two and five servings seems to be typical at Thanksgiving, but there are ways to eat healthier without packing a separate Thanksgiving meal or nibbling at dinner.
Eat when you are hungry during the day of your Thanksgiving meal. Don’t skip other meals in order to gorge during Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. If you are hungry and your stomach is growling, it is likely you will overeat and pack on the holiday pounds.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you can substitute high-fat items with healthier versions. Try using egg whites, fat-free ingredients and frozen yogurt in desserts.
If you are heading to a Thanksgiving dinner where everyone brings a dish, offer to bring a healthy dessert. Instead of the typical pumpkin and pecan pies, opt for a fruit dish. You can decorate angel food cake with sliced fruit and fat-free whipped topping. Not only is this dessert be healthy, it’s also delicious.
Build a Healthy Meal
Load your plate with vegetables first. Be wary of casserole dishes though; they are still high in fat and calories. Get a piece of lean meat that is about the size of a deck of cards and remove the skin. You will now have lean protein without excess fat and cholesterol. Use about a quarter of your plate for the yummy items you enjoy. Try a bite of two of each item to keep your plate filled with a variety of food.
What you drink can make or break your healthy Thanksgiving. If you find yourself drinking and socializing you may end up having several cocktails or sodas, which can add hundreds of additional calories to your day. Drink a tall glass of water first. This will fill your stomach and keep your body hydrated. If you do decide to have a cocktail or a soda, limit yourself to only one drink.
When you eat your meal be sure to eat slowly. Chew each bite thoroughly and take your time. If you eat too fast you will still feel hungry and be tempted to make another plate. Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry. Do not eat until the point of discomfort and being overly full. Eat the items on your plate in the order or healthiest item to least healthy. If you consume all of your vegetables followed be turkey, you may not even need to eat the sweet potatoes or green bean casserole you chose.
Turkey, breast, meat and skin, cooked, roasted
Amount per 0.5 breast, bone removed Calories: 1636.7
Candied Yams Calories: 149
Green Bean Casserole Calories: 142
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Calories: 482
Pumkin Pie 1 slice Calories: 323