The Thanksgiving Feast – How to enjoy, but not over-do!
I love Thanksgiving. It’s been a day to eat, over-indulge, and then eat some more. It’s a day to spend with family and friends. There is time for joking, laughing, and telling stories. The appetizer round starts early, followed by the huge plates (yes, ‘plates’ is plural) of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, etc. To end the meal, I often “stuff down” a slice of pie and possibly even ice cream. And that is just the food. During the entire time of eating, I often indulge in a few adult beverages. This eating and drinking marathon is often completed by a nap on the couch while watching football. Every year is the same routine. When the nap is over, I feel full, tired and sluggish. The bathroom scale adds a few pounds the day after, and we all know that sinking feeling of the creeping scale. Why, do I do the same thing every year? I know how hard it is to reverse those added pounds. The hours of cardio to work off the indulgences, is it really worth it to over-do on Thanksgiving? I am following a new plan this year.
Can we enjoy the Thanksgiving feast and not over- do?
- 1. Use one plate. Fill it ONCE and do not go back for seconds. Better yet, use a smaller plate or a salad plate for the main course. If salad is being served as a side dish, load up on lettuce and healthy veggies first.
- 2. Opt for white meat and remove the skin. Yes, we know it adds a bit of flavor, but it also adds fat and calories.
- 3. Offer to bring some of the side dishes to your family feast. Make your own sweet potatoes which don’t include the extra butter and marshmallows. Make steamed green beans instead of the famous green bean casserole, which can have on average a 100 more calories per serving than steamed green beans.
- 4. Choose your desserts wisely. Yes, it’s a holiday and it’s time to celebrate, but choose fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, or sorbet as a dessert. If you must have pie (which I always do), opt for pumpkin over pecan and save on average another 150 calories per serving.
- 5. EAT SLOWLY. Enjoy your time with family and socialize during the meal. Your talking will slow down your eating.
- 6. DRINK Water! This will help you feel fuller faster. It will also help keep you hydrated in case you are also celebrating with your favorite adult beverage.
- 7. Get off the couch and get some fresh air. Get up and take a family walk. Get the entire family out for a game of kickball. Enjoy the day and get moving. Better yet, sign up for your local turkey trot or family 1 mile, 5K or 10K race. Burn those calories even before the meal starts!