My how those holiday treats add up. The typical Thanksgiving Day meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and a glass of wine. If you ate one of each of these things your calorie intake for that meal alone would be 1,777 calories.
That’s right — 1,777 calories, which would take five hours of exercise to burn off.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 8 ounces of turkey – 480 calories
- 1 cup serving mashed potatoes and gravy – 257 calories
- 1 cup stuffing – 350 calories
- 1 cup cranberry sauce – 257 calories
- 1 slice pumpkin pie – 350 calories
- 6-ounce glass of wine –120 calories
Who has the energy to exercise five hours on a holiday? Hy-Vee Dietitian Robbyn Nelson has some tips on how to cut the calories and still enjoy all the Thanksgiving fix in’s.
- Remove the skin from turkey, eat the white meat.
- Flavor sweet potatoes with apple juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Whip mashed potatoes with skim milk and roasted garlic.
- Oven bake stuffing with sautéed onions and celery.
- Skip the green bean casserole and enjoy fresh, steamed green beans, topped with slivered almonds
- Use whole cranberry sauce rather than jellied cranberry sauce.
- Choose whole-wheat, high-fiber breads and rolls.
- Slice your favorite pie into 10 pieces instead of eight.
- Savor a piece of peppermint after the holiday dinner if you have a craving.
- Control portions by using a smaller plate or bowl. Save your extra calories for a special holiday treat you only get once a year.
- Don’t pass on the protein. Include lean-proteins in snacks and meals to help balance carbohydrate-rich foods, avoid blood sugar spikes and feel full longer.
- Get moving. Five hours may be too much but every bit counts — take a pre-run meal or get a post-meal football game started.
- Bring veggies and fruit to potlucks to balance out other heavier foods.
French Onion Dip
Serves: 10 (about 1/4 cup each)
Source: Eating Well
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
3/4 tsp. salt
1 (14 oz.) can reduced-sodium beef broth or 1 3/4 cups mushroom broth
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 10 minutes. Add broth, scrape up any browned bits, and simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated, 10 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Stir in onion powder, then stir in vinegar and cook until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Combine sour cream and yogurt in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate the onion mixture (Step 1) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Cover and refrigerate the dip for up to 3 days.
Nutrition facts per serving: 82 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 203mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g sugar, 3g protein.
Sources: USDA Food Tracker/ Super Tracker, Eating Well Magazine