Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

When you learn that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories you may be tempted to skip it altogether. But before you resort to such drastic measures know that there are steps you can take and eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you are worried about a particular health issue, are trying to follow doctor’s orders or just want to watch what you eat on Thanksgiving, there are healthy holiday eating tips for Thanksgiving that can help you without leaving you feeling deprived. Here is the information you need to know for healthy eating on Thanksgiving-

• If you are guests of a Thanksgiving dinner

1. Do not go to the Thanksgiving dinner overly hungry. We often eat faster and certainly more when we are hungry. Nutrition experts recommend eating a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day of Thanksgiving to avoid overeating at dinner.

2. Thanksgiving dinner does not have to be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Start your nutritious eating by filling your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly, savoring every bite and stop when you are full.

3. If you choose turkey-choose skinless-Your portion of turkey should be about 4-oz. By choosing skinless you are going to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Do this and save your appetite (and your calories) for the side dishes and desserts.

4. Choose your side dishes carefully-Watch your portion size and go for smaller portions. Not only does this cut the calories, but this way you can sample all the different foods. Also keep in mind that anything with a sauce, covered in cheese or topped with lots of butter means extra fat and extra calories. Moderation is always the key.

5. Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items. As mentioned before high fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Keep in mind that mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk, green bean casseroles are often made with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions, candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in a dish you may want to limit yourself to a smaller helping size.

6. Drink plenty of water-Keep in mind that alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drinking plenty of water (calorie-free) will help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

• If you are the chef of Thanksgiving dinner-

1. You can substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat free equivalents. Here is a list of popular substitutions that will give you much of the same flavor with much less fat.

• Instead of one whole egg use two egg whites
• Instead of full-fat sour cream use low fat plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream
• Instead of ice cream try frozen yogurt
• Instead of heavy cream use a 1:1 ratio of flour whisked into low-fat milk. (Keep in mind this is not good for whipping)

2. Be smart about your leftovers-Instead of fat-laden turkey sandwiches put your leftover turkey into a vegetable filled soup. If you need to limit what you will eat, send home leftovers with your guests. Remember out of sight-out of mind.

3. Don’t forget to experiment with new recipes-Many times your family and friends will welcome a new taste at the Thanksgiving dinner. Use your creativity to see if you can substitute your high fat Thanksgiving dish with a lower fat tasty alternative.

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