How to make it through Thanksgiving without gaining weight
…and not feeling guilty
Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? We all eagerly await to gather around the dinner table with family and friends. But we all knows what happens at that dinner table: we end up eating so much, we end up talking about it for weeks…and then trying to lose the weight for months! Do you know that most Americans will consume more than 4,500 calories and close to 200 fat grams (that’s 1800 calories just from fat!) on Thanksgiving day alone? Research reveals that the majority of these calories are not just from the traditional meal (a whopping 2000 calories!) but from the all-day snacking in front of the TV watching the Thanksgiving Day parade and then football.
My clients often ask me if I have any tips on how to stay on track and not get tempted by all the food. Here is what I tell them:
- Watch your snacking. Prepare healthy snacks for when you watch, like celery and hummus, a bowl of crudité (raw broccoli and other vegetables) or sunflower seeds, my favorite snacks for watching football (or James Bond marathon)! Not only are sunflower seeds rich in protein, if you buy them unpeeled, they are a lot of work too.
- Don’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry. Eat a big healthy breakfast and lunch so you don’t overeat at dinner. You know how it works, we end up eating more and faster when we are hungry.
- Drink lots of water. Fill up on water, which has no calories. Limit and even avoid your alcohol and coffee during dinner…they will dehydrate your body and make you hungrier.
- Avoid high-fat sides. Just say “no” to macaroni-and-cheese, casseroles and all those fried, creamy and sugary foods. Stay away from mashed potatoes that are made with butter and milk, cream of mushroom soup, candied yams, marshmallows and gravy. Swap them for mashed sweet potatoes with salt and garlic and steamed green beans.
- Have your turkey skinless. Be smart about the turkey portion you select. Go for about 4 oz of turkey breast with no skin.
- Watch your portions. Don’t go for seconds and thirds. And if you absolutely cannot resist fatty sides, just have a small helping. Remember, moderation is key!
- Eat slowly. Stop when you are full and keep talking to your friends and family. Don’t get tempted by more food, get up and walk around if you feel you are having a hard time to resist.
- Offer to host Thanksgiving. This is my favorite tip because it puts you in charge! If you are responsible for the meal, you can control the ingredients and make the holiday healthy not just for yourself but for your friends and family as well. Substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free items, like egg whites instead of eggs, skim milk instead of milk, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, etc. Prepare lots of vegetable sides with green and colorful fall veggies. Mash your potatoes with just salt and garlic instead of milk and butter. Choose whole grain breads.
Bonus #9 – Do This Workout at before the game an at halftime:
And after: Contact me!