By Zil Jones, Keene State College Dietetic Intern
Thanksgiving only happens once a year so it is easy to think that it’s okay to go ahead and splurge.
Unfortunately the holiday season causes most of us to gain at least one pound — that will stay there permanently.
To keep your weight in check, follow these tips for a Thanksgiving Day that is happy and healthy.
Before the meal: Have a healthy morning
- Eat breakfast: Skipping breakfast will leave you starving and unable to control your portions during the big meal.
- Go for a family walk or run (Wobble Gobble)!
- Play some touch football.
- Encourage a game of charades.
While preparing the meal: Lighten up the recipes
- Choose to make side dishes that are mostly vegetables: Prepare baked Brussels sprouts or a hearty salad.
- Substitute whole grains in for refined grains: Use whole grain bread for stuffing or use whole grain flour and oats in your baked goods.
- Try replacing sour cream on mashed potatoes with Greek yogurt.
- Watch out for sodium: Choose low sodium cream of mushroom soup in the green bean casserole and be wary of the salt added in while cooking the stuffing.
- Reduce oil and butter wherever you can such as in the mashed potatoes, in the stuffing and in baked goods.
- Substitute fruit puree for fat and oil in baked goods.
During the meal: Fill your plate smartly
- Fill most of you plate up with the vegetable options that are available.
- Make sure to choose a few of your holiday favorites and have less of the options that are around year-long to make sure you don’t feel deprived.
- Resist the temptation of seconds.
Pick one dessert option and enjoy the indulgence. And most of all be thankful for your health and the health of those sharing your meal.