Given that Thanksgiving is a holiday devoted to food, I thought I would take a break this week from talking about my 6 tenets, and instead focus on Turkey Day!

For those of us not fortunate enough to have the natural build and metabolism of a marathon runner (like you Neal Andrews), Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season can be tough on the waistline.  It’s important to fully enjoy the holiday, and the wonderful food that accompanies it, but here are a few simple tips to keep from going completely overboard:

  • Eat breakfast, and depending on when dinner is served, a snack too before Thanksgiving dinner.  You will be able to control your portions and make better choices if you are hungry, but not starving, before the meal.
  • Add more veggies.   Who says a Thanksgiving meal must consist only of the traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, bread, and pie?  Start a new tradition by adding a couple of fresh, colorful vegetable side dishes to the meal.  Or have a veggie tray as an appetizer.
  • Make healthy ingredient substitutions.  Use lower-fat dairy products, herbs and spices in place of salt, and reduce the sugar slightly in sweet dishes.   Check out additional tips and lightened (but still delicious) recipes from a few of my favorite web resources:
  • Watch your portion sizes.  I realize this tip seems to go against the very essence of a Thanksgiving meal, but try it–take a reasonable sized portion to start, eat slowly, enjoy your food, and let your meal sit for 20 minutes.  There’s no rush on Thanksgiving.  If you are still hungry, you’re free to go back for seconds, but you may be surprised with how satisfied you are after a single serving.
  • Account for dessert calories.  If you know that you will be having pie, skip the extra bread or serving of potatoes to give yourself room to indulge in dessert.
  • Keep alcohol in check.   A few drinks not only adds extra calories, but also encourages overeating.
  • Enjoy time with family and friends.  Remember the true meaning of the holiday, which is far more than just an excellent meal!

Have a happy, healthy, & safe Thanksgiving.  Happy Eating!


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