Top 5 Tips for Eating Healthy on Thanksgiving

Top 5 Tips for Eating Healthy on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends and often involves some of the finest cuisines of the year.  During the big meal, it is common to see candied yams, turkey, sweet potatoes and yams, cranberries, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, wine, cola, egg nog, and on top of all this, butter and oil are used as toppers.  While this may taste amazing going in the mouth, there are some serious consequences for engorging oneself in these delicacies.  A typical meal can easily surpass the daily energy requirements and often fat and carbohydrates are the culprits.  When your daily energy requirements are highly surpassed, it could mean serious weight gain, especially if there is an entire week’s worth of leftovers.  Listed in this article are some tips on eating healthily on Thanksgiving to help maintain a healthy body weight and keep on your health goals.

Eating Healthy on Thanksgiving

  1. Eat Breakfast. Many individuals skip breakfast in order to “save” room in the belly in order to consume the big meal.  This theory of “saving” room actually is not a great idea.  Eating a small meal on the morning of the Thanksgiving meal can help give you some control on your later day appetite [1].  Some options for a small and satisfying meal in the morning may include whole eggs, a small whole wheat bagel or toast, or some fiber-rich cereal and low fat milk.  This small meal may not keep you “full” until the Thanksgiving meal, but it may help regulate your appetite to help prevent over-indulging.
  2. Avoid the skin. While the turkey is soaked in juices, butter, or oil, it is important to eat the portions which offer the most healthful choices as possible.  Whether you consume white or the dark meat, the skin is something you ought to refrain from eating.  In fact, the skin is one of the most fattening portions on the turkey, owing to about 80 calories and two grams of fat per one ounce piece of skin [2].  For a run-down on turkey nutritional information, check out some of these turkey facts.
  3. Make it from scratch. Healthy eating over the holidays does not always need to be about the amount of calories engorged.  It can entail healthier styles of cooking.  For instance, boxed stuffing is typically loaded with salts, seasonings, and other added ingredients.  Rather than using boxed stuffing, choose a homemade variety to where you can salt and season to your liking.  Moreover, any ingredients you choose this holiday you should consider using organic whenever possible.  Even though they carry a higher price tag, organic turkeys, sauces, juices, broths, butter, and breads can all be purchased in a local market store and can help reduce harmful contaminants from entering the body.
  4. Why mashed potatoes? Rather than using traditional recipes such as mashed potatoes, attempt something new this year.  Cook or steam raw broccoli or cauliflower and mix in a blender using similar ingredients as you would with mashed potatoes.  It will help reduce the amount of starchy carbohydrates you consume, but it will also add to the amount of vegetables consumed at the table.  Let’s face it, vegetables are not the main attraction at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
  5. Chew slowly when eating. It is easy to stuff the face when eating a Thanksgiving meal, but when you eat fast without coming up for air, your stomach has no chance to signal the brain that it is “full”.   This is one version on how over eating occurs.  Rather than being quiet and stuffing face during the big meal, take small bites, place the fork on the table and engage in discussion with family or friends.  By taking your time eating, the stomach is better able to signal satiety to the brain and you may find that you struggle to eat only one plate-full of food rather than seconds.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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