Thanksgiving Cooking and Eating Tips

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving.  And with the scrumptious food that is spread out over our holiday tables, I am sure it’s as hard for you as it is for me to pace yourself on this day.  However, what’s even harder is the ability to stay in control of portions.  After all, it’s supposed to be a day when we are all given dispensation to eat whatever we want, right?  Well, that’s what we’d like to believe.Did you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2,000 calories?  I can tell you that for me, I have probably doubled that number in the past on Thanksgiving Day.What has helped me stay in control are the following things:

  • Don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner hungry. We tend to eat faster and more when we are hungry.
  • Fill your plate with 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice.
  • Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items such as mashed potatoes with butter and milk, candied yams loaded with sugar and syrup, stuffing etc.
  • Drink plenty of water- alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body.
  • Save your appetite for side dishes and desserts.

This is not to say that you cannot enjoy all those great things.  The key is moderation.  You can have those mashed potatoes but opt not to have both the mashed potatoes and the candied yams.  Choose just one.

You can also use easy recipe substitutions.  Here are a few:

  • Mashed potatoes with light butter and buttermilk instead of butter and whole milk. This will save 21 grams of fat (190 calories).
  • Consider no-calorie Splenda instead of sugar. You can save up to 770 calories if you use all sweetener in a cake recipe.
  • Replace whipped cream with non-dairy Cool Whip Free.
  • Eggs are an integral ingredient on your baking list. Use Egg Beaters instead of eggs.
  • Go skinless on the turkey.  One serving of skinless roasted turkey will save 5-7 grams of fat.

I hope these tips have helped you in preparation for Turkey Day.

Have a wonderful holiday!