Here comes the holiday season! For many of us, it starts with Thanksgiving and carries on through the New Year. It includes special and traditional foods that are different than what we typically include in our regular meal plans.
Holiday weight gain, not to mention heartburn, sluggishness and other maladies associated with overindulgence in food and drink, can be avoided. On Thanksgiving Day, the average American adult likely eats between 2000 to 3500 calories at the Thanksgiving dinner ALONE. Most people typically consume between 1600 to 2400 calories in just a typical day!
So how can we ward off the dreaded holiday gain? But more importantly, how can we eat our favorite foods, not feel deprived and guilty, and still partake in the traditions that we hold so dear?
With a few tweaks to the traditional recipes, your holiday meal can actually be quite healthy. Allow yourself a taste of everything, watch your portion sizes and remember moderation is the key.
The following are some examples of how to “tweak” a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to “right-size” your intake instead of “super-sizing” it.
How to Save Calories on the Typical Thanksgiving Holiday Meal
Menu Item BEFORE Calories
Turkey, with skin, 6 oz. 300
Mashed potatoes, milk, butter, 1 cup 220
Stuffing, 1 cup 360
Gravy, ¼ cup 100
Green bean casserole, 2/3 cup 90
Cranberry orange relish, ½ cup 245
Sweet potatoes, candied, ¾ cup 240
Dinner roll, medium, 2 oz. 160
Butter, 1 Tbsp. 135
Lefse, 2 rounds, 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 Tbsp. sugar 340
Pumpkin pie, 1/8 of 9” pie 315
Whipped cream, ¼ cup 100
Wine, 7 oz. 150
Menu Item AFTER Calories
Turkey, breast w/out skin, 3 oz. 130
Mashed potatoes, milk, butter, ½ cup 110
Stuffing, ½ cup 180
Gravy, fat free, ¼ cup 25
Green beans, ½ cup 25
Cranberry sauce, sugar free, ½ cup 45
Sweet potato, baked, ½ cup 80
Dinner roll, small, 1 oz. 80
Butter, 1 tsp. 45
Lefse, 1 round, 1 tsp. butter, 1 tsp. sugar 140
Pumpkin pie, 1/16 of 9” pie 158
Light whipped topping, ¼ cup 40
Wine, 3.5 oz. 75
Moderation and portion control really are the keys to healthy eating all through the year. May you have a safe, healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!