Thanksgiving kicks off the most joyous time of year. You’re off of work, spending time with friends and loved ones, enjoying nice weather, and of course, indulging in amazing holiday food! Unfortunately, weight gain over the holidays has become commonplace for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be the norm! If you’ve been worried about how you’re going to avoid the holiday pounds, we have a few ways you can make this Thanksgiving the healthiest on record.
Don’t Come to Dinner Starving
The same rule that applies to grocery shopping applies to Thanksgiving dinner: the hungrier you are, the more you’re going to consume! Have a lighter snack before arriving or bring a snack with you to curb your appetite before dinner. You are less likely to overindulge if you have been able to snack throughout the day.
Create a Colorful Plate
Fruits and vegetables are a great substitute for breads and starches. Remember to keep in mind the benefits and misconceptions of carbohydrates. Swap the mashed potatoes for green beans, and the dinner rolls for carrots! Take advantage of the nutritious foods that are available to you, or suggest making and bringing healthy dishes for everyone to share! A colorful plate means you have mostly avoided the beige-colored calories – biscuits, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes!
Opt for White Meat
Did you know that dark meat turkey with the skin has twice the fat of white meat, and 40% more calories? Choosing white meat selections without the skin in 3.5-ounce portions will save you on a good amount of calories that come on a Thanksgiving dinner plate. Turkey will also keep you feeling fuller longer.
Think “Simple” for Desert
Instead of going straight for the sugar after dinner, pick deserts that include fruit or something fruit-based. Traditional options like fruit salads and pumpkin pie are great alternatives to frosted sugar cookies and sweet pecan pie!
Practice Mindfulness and Portion Control
These two approaches go hand-in-hand, as being conscious of your portion sizes and mindful of what you’re consuming will lead to healthier decisions when you’re passing through the casserole buffet line. It is easy to become distracted at family holiday gatherings and begin grazing on the first appetizer put in front of you but stay conscious of the items you’re putting on your plate or napkin.
We can’t tell you how to tell your mom that you just can’t eat her sweet potato casserole, but armed with these tips, you will be able to successfully navigate your way to a cleaner Thanksgiving.
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