How Not to Stuff Yourself on Turkey Day
In addition to being an occasion to get together with family and friends, Thanksgiving also gives us license – or so it seems! – to eat whatever we want. And there’s usually plenty of food to go around, including many things that can wreak havoc with your good intentions to “eat healthy,” shed pounds or maintain your weight.
As with most things in life, the key to getting through the holidays without gaining 5 pounds or making your blood glucose levels shoot through the roof is something many of us have problems with – moderation. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those fabulous foods that only come around a few times a year. Depriving yourself of what you love to eat – and everyone else at the table is enjoying – is a sure-fire way to break whatever good intentions you have about your diet. Don’t do it!
Instead, here are a few simple tips for enjoying yourself while keeping on a healthy track this Thanksgiving:
1. Skip or skimp on the hors d’oeuvres. These are usually things you can live without, like cheese and crackers or chips and dip. If there’s something on the hors d’oeuvres table you just can’t live without, take a couple of small samples and then hand in your plate.
2. Forgo the sugary drinks. This is a big time of year for sparkling beverages, which are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Try a glass of mineral water instead and add a splash of lemon or lime juice if you want something more festive.
3. Avoid taking seconds. Help yourself to a portion of each of the tasty foods you love, but make that your only go-around. The second helping of stuffing or mashed potatoes never tastes as good as the first, and is bound to have you tugging at your waistband before long.
4. Eat slowly. Taste each bite, and make the meal last. If you finish before your stomach knows it’s full (usually about 20 minutes), you’ll go foraging for more.
5. By all means, save room for dessert. In my family, pumpkin pie is what Thanksgiving is all about! So have a small slice and savor the taste of this beautiful fall dessert. Either skip the whipped cream or indulge in just a small dollop.
Remember, drinking a glass of water right before your meal helps fill you up so that you take smaller portions at the table. Try some of these tricks and you won’t wake up on Black Friday with a guilty “too much Thanksgiving dinner” nausea. Enjoy!