November 22, 2010
Stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pie, oh my! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and instead of dreading the aftermath of the holiday weight-gain, be pro-active. With just a little bit of strategizing before your Thanksgiving dinner, you can avoid an over-indulgent nightmare.
And you don’t have to give up all of your favorite holiday treats…phew!
If there is one day out of the entire year that people like to indulge in comfort foods and tend to eat until they are overstuffed- it’s Thanksgiving.
Hundreds of years ago our forefathers celebrated a plentiful harvest with a large meal. Today we carry on that tradition by cooking up a table full of food from corn and stuffing to pies and cranberry sauce. We celebrate Thanksgiving by eating comfort foods in record-high numbers. Most Thanskgiving meals are heavy on carbs. We eat a lot of potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, sweet potato casserole, and more. That’s not even mentioning the dessert table, which almost always includes pumpkin and apple pies.
If the average person eats a 2,000 calorie diet and a dieter is supposed to stick with 1,200-1’500 calories, what are the chances that a meal like this fits into either catergory?
You guessed it; none!
There are two ways of thinking about a hearty Thanksgiving meal. One is that it is a special day that happens once a year and we should indulge and eat all of our favorite things. The other is to avoid these foods altogether.
* How to Keep Weight Off During the Holidays
* Best Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
* How to Avoid Weight Gain Through the Holidays But there is a better way. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you are looking for a better way to deal with food choices on Thanksgiving, try including healthier versions of traditional favorites. Often all it takes is a make over of your family’s favorite recipes to reduce the fat, reduce the calories, reduce the carbs and increase the fiber. All of these things also decrease your chances of weight gain.
Easy Ways To Make Healthier Food Choices on Thanksgiving:
* Turkey – It’s a good choice if cooked without butter. Use a little olive oil and spices like thyme and sage for a tasty, but healthier meat.
* Sweet Potatoes – Swap mashed potatoes and sweet ptoato casseroles for a simple baked sweet potato. They are full of flavor, vitamins and fiber, without the fat. * Vegetables – Even veggies can be bad for you if you cook them in butter. Ditch the green bean casserole and corn and serve steamed veggies or a salad with a light vinagrette dressing.
* Jello- Keep it simple and use only fat-free, sugar-free versions to bring color and flavor to your Thanksgiving meal.
* Rolls – If you must have bread with your meal, make sure it is whole wheat so you get the nutrients you need from it. Either skip the butter altogether or add a small amount of smart balance light or a similar butter-tasting product.
* Dessert – Try fruit, sugar-free pudding, no-sugar-added apple pie or a lowfat pumpkin cheesecake to end on a sweet note without ending your diet. With a little extra effort, you can make a healthy Thanksgiving meal.
Striking a balance is important. And if you aren’t the one cooking, bring a healthy dish or two to share.