Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and of course a table full of deliciously indulgent foods. It’s easy to grab your elastic sweats with full intentions of filling up your plate for the third time, but remember that moderation is key, especially on Turkey Day. Here are a few tips to lighten up your Thanksgiving while still enjoying the festivities with family and friends, but without adding on the extra pounds or guilt.
- EAT MORE VEGGIES: Hold off on the candied yams and consider roasted sweet potatoes or simply sauté the green beans in place of boring green bean casserole. Remember – simple preparation highlights the natural flavors of the vegetables without adding extra fat or calories. Now that your table is loaded with great tasting veggies, try designating half of your plate to these super foods.
- LIGHTEN UP YOUR RECIPES: Try making mashed potatoes with plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or low fat milk for creamy alternatives to butter and heavy cream. Use oils in place of butter and cut back on the sugar in your recipes. There are many healthy thanksgiving recipes available online. Commit to trying a healthy variation to some the heavy classics.
- PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL: Potion control is the secret to keep you from over eating. Set a goal to have one plate and a small dessert – before serving your plate look at all the available options and decide what you really want to eat. If you must have everything, then take small servings of each – remember moderation is key! Finally, walk away from the table after you are done with your meal. Staring at the food on the table will only increase your appetite even when you are full.
- GET ACTIVE: Start your day with a walk and schedule a walk with your family following the meal. It’s a great way to share each other’s company on Thanksgiving!
- DON’T SKIP MEALS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: You should still enjoy a healthy breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, but choose a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. Have an omelet, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, or a yogurt parfait with a serving of fruit. Meals that have protein and fiber will keep you full longer – this way you are not starving before dinner and can manage your portions better.
~Ivy Mumbo, Registered Dietician, Georgetown University