Making Thanksgiving Dinner Healthy
Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so why not go ahead and splurge? Because gaining weight during the holiday season is a national pastime. Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holiday season.
While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, make plans to eat breakfast. Eating breakfast can help you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast -- such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk -- so you won't be starving when you arrive at the gathering.
Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.
· Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.· Use low sodium soups.
· Use less sugar or a sugar substitute in place of sugar.
· Use apple sauce or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods. I typically replace half of the oil in baked goods with apple sauce or fruit puree.
· Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
· Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
Pay attention to portion sizes. Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and often foods are served that we only eat once or twice a year. Before filling your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you're going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without. Don't waste your calories on foods that you can have throughout the year. Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods. Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings. Leftovers are often better the next day.
Some foods are quite healthy that are served at Thanksgiving. White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.
Pay attention to the amount of appetizers you eat. Some Thanksgiving dinners start as early as 1 p.m., and the first thing you see is endless appetizers. Watch out: Appetizers can result in lots of calories and lead to mindless eating.