Thank Yourself Later

Top 10 ways to manage your calories on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

1. Help your Hunger. Arriving hungry to the holiday table is the worst thing you can do for yourself, unless you would like to over-indulge at dinner! Choose a small snack such as fresh vegetables with hummus or a non-fat Greek yogurt prior to attending your holiday meal to keep hunger at bay.

2. Manage your Meat. In order to keep calories in check, choose only the white turkey meat without skin. Dark turkey meat (3.5 oz) with skin
 provides approximately 208 calories and 10 grams of fat. On the contrary, white turkey breast without skin provides 
about 135 calories and 1 gram of fat

3. Vary the Veggies. Remember the ChooseMyPlate guidelines and balance total calories by increasing fiber-filled, lower-calorie vegetable servings. Select a variety of rich colorful vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and green beans; choose some non-traditional choices like kale or roasted beets to spice up your holiday dinner.

4. Balance the Booze. Keep in mind one 5-oz glass of wine contains approximately 125 calories. Try balancing your alcohol consumption by mixing in a glass of sparkling water between pours.

5. Evaluate the Extras. Gravy, cranberry sauce, butter, whipped cream–these are many of the few “extras” that pad additional calories to our Thanksgiving dinner. Be mindful of the extra calories added to your meal.

6. Focus on Fruits. Balance the high-fat desserts with fiber-filled fruits. Vitamin-packed fruits will aid in digestion and add a sweet end to the meal.

7. Subtract the Starch. Dinner rolls, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn chowder, what do these all have in common? Starch! Choose one or two of these for your meal, rather than one serving of each, in order to keep total calories in check.

8. Add in Activity. With the additional calories typically consumed on Thanksgiving, try balancing your intake with a little activity. Go for a walk with your kids after dinner, strike up a family football game, whatever it is, make time to exercise!

9. Load up on Leftovers. Rather than consuming extra portions on Turkey Day, wrap up part of your plate to enjoy the next day.

10. Think THANKS! With the hustle and bustle of our daily routine, let Thanksgiving be a reminder of all we have in our lives to be thankful. Have your kids help prepare the holiday meal, let them set the table or make place cards, whatever you choose, enjoy the time with family and friends.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Lara Field MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Specialist in Pediatrics with over a decade of clinical and client experience. When she’s not actively working to keep her clients healthy, she’s a busy mother of two active boys and loves testing new recipes in her kitchen. Follow her on Instagram to see her recipe ideas, product suggestions, and see how she manages a healthy lifestyle @larafield.