Thanksgiving is notorious for getting just as “stuffed” as the turkey. There’s a lot of rich once-a-year foods available and we indulge… that’s why the typical plate is 1500 calories, nearly a day’s worth for women and a half day’s worth for men! It’s almost like eating a large Big Mac, fries, soda, and an apple pie in one sitting.
It’s common for people to be concerned about Thanksgiving weight gain, but let’s be more flexible and focus on a balanced holiday. You should enjoy these seasonal foods at their finest! Studies show if we eat what we want, we will be more satisfied and in actuality, eat less.
So here’s what you can do for a healthy and balanced Thanksgiving:
- Put color on the plate. Make sure the Thanksgiving table has two non-starchy veggies. Green beans are popular. Maybe you can also serve a nice salad or some roasted brussel sprouts Also, the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes have good nutrition for the calories.
- Be selective with starch. Of all the starches, the stuffing is the one that only comes around once a year. There are so many other days for you to have bread and mashed potatoes. Choose what you think you will enjoy the most and savor every bite.
- Avoid the “food coma”. Stop eating when you feel “comfortable” full. Then go take a walk with family or spend some time outside throwing the football. You’ll feel better, you’ll digest your food better, and when you go for seconds, you’re going to feel a lot less guilty about it.
- Don’t skip meals to ‘save your calories up’ …this will likely lead to over eating.
- Listen to your body. When you’re satisfied, put the fork down. You can always come back to it later when you’re hungry again.
- Drinks still have calories: wine, beer, sodas, cider still count towards the daily total. Make sure you stay hydrated with water throughout the day too!
- Know you can say “no” to seconds: if your family likes to load up your plate, you’re allowed to politely decline.
- Focus on family: enjoy the discussion around the table and get involved! Take bites and savor the food and the company. Remember this holiday is about the people you’re with!
- Grab a smaller plate: we sometimes rely on visual cues to tell us when we are fully, or done eating. Use a salad plate or small dinner plate so you’re not ‘fooled’.
Above all, remember to be Thankful!