How to Make Healthier Choices at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for family and delicious food. But it’s also hard for those on a diet. The average American might gain 5 – 10 pounds over the holiday season, and Thanksgiving food is a big contributor to the weight gain.
It doesn’t have to be hard to keep your diet on track though. With a little sensible planning and these tips, you can avoid the calorie overload and still have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.
Portion Control on Your Plate
Stopping yourself from putting too much food on your plate is key if you’re trying to cut down on calories. It’s a healthier choice for your body to make sure to measure out your food. Even if it’s a heavier food, like carbs or something fried, taking smaller portions of it will help you out in the long run.
Try the following tips to keep your portion sizes small:
- Try using smaller plates or utensils.
- Keep food at a serving table, separate from the dining table, so you have to stand up and get new servings.
- Drink a glass of water before eating, to feel more full.
- Use your fist to measure out how much you should have (about the size of your fist is a good portion)
Choose Lean Meat for Weight Loss Purposes
Turkey is already a very lean meat that’s low in fat and has plenty of protein. Take it a step further by preparing it in a way that’s friendly to both your heart and your waistline.
<strong>Fried turkey is popular at Thanksgiving, but it also carries far more calories than a baked turkey.</strong> Fried turkey can also be dangerous to your home, since many methods of deep-frying turkey pose a serious fire hazard. And don’t forget that many of the calories and fat in a piece of turkey are in the skin. Peeling off the skin of the turkey will cut down on the calories you consume and you’ll still have a delicious meal, plus a much healthier one.
Choose High Fiber Foods
How you load up your plate matters as much as how much you put on it. Everybody’s hungry on Thanksgiving, but one of the best ways of satiating that hunger is by seeking out foods that are high in fiber.
Good high in fiber foods are:
- Green Beans
- Whole grain pasta
These foods are typically lower in calories and fill you up fast. On top of that, you’ll reap the many benefits of dietary fiber. Watch out for additives like butter and salt, which can add to the caloric content of the meal and crank up the calorie count.
Limit Your High Sugar Drinks
Drinks don’t fill you up like food does. Drinks high in sugar are also one of the stealthiest sources of calories in a person’s diet. Many people end up drinking their calories without even realizing it because most holiday drinks have a lot of sugar.
Many people like to have a glass of wine over Thanksgiving or a beer or two during the big game, but it’s important to watch how much you drink if you’re trying to cut down on calories. Alcohol is high in sugar and comes with a high calorie count. Even drinks like non-alcoholic ciders and egg nog contain a lot of calories and sugar. By cutting down on these beverages, or choosing water, you’ll be staying on track with your diet and your health.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to ruin your diet. With some careful thinking and a little willpower, you can enjoy a great meal without overloading on calories and enjoy your time with your family. We hope everyone in Austin has a happy Thanksgiving with friends and family this year.
If you need help staying on a diet plan or coming up with a good wellness approach to your lifestyle, contact us about our weight loss program. We can help you get on track to being the healthiest version of yourself.