Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season– a time in which, on average, Americans gain between 5-7 pounds. Rather than becoming a statistic, start your holidays off right by making healthful choices to manage your calorie intake. Check out our tips, and learn how to enjoy the time with family and friends– without over-doing it!
Tip 1: HAVE A PLAN
Avoid skipping meals in preparation for the Thanksgiving feast. Missing meals will only lead to over-consuming later. Consider some high-protein and fiber-filled snacks during the day to keep hunger manageable. Try:
- Low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Air-popped popcorn
- Apple slices and 2 tablespoons of peanut or other nut butter
- Small handful of dried fruit and/or nuts
Tip 2: VEG OUT
This time of year, as always, feel free to overload your plate with non-starchy veggies! If you’re cooking, be sure to plan for veggie options on your holiday menu like:
- Sliced raw veggies such as bell peppers, jicama, sugar snap peas, carrots, or baby tomatoes with a low-fat Greek yogurt– the no fuss appetizer!
- Roasted squash, cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts
- Sautéed green beans instead of green bean casserole
Tip 3: SET LIMITS
Taste everything, but eat only a few bites of indulgent food. Rather than having a whopping helping of mashed potatoes, savor a few tastes of each of the higher calorie choices, including casseroles, stuffing, or other cream-based dishes.
Tip 4: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
Keep food in the kitchen or on the buffet. Avoid bringing dishes to the table and serving family style you are more likely to add it to your plate– even if you are already feeling full.
Tip 5: PORTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
Using an appetizer plate instead of a dinner plate may also decrease the amount you eat. Bigger plates typically equal bigger portions. Take a smaller plate if you are going through a buffet and focus the foods you truly enjoy!