1. Start the day with a small breakfast. Although you may want to starve yourself until the big feast, this will control your appetite and help you control portion sizes during the feast.
2. Scan the entire array of food. Take a moment to plan out your plate before piling it up. Avoid or limit the foods that you normally eat, and choose the foods that are only eaten once a year. Plan out reasonable portions.
3. Try to stick with one plate. Don’t forget—there’s dessert, and there’ll always be leftovers for tomorrow.
4. Be cautious of the salad dressing, as they tend to rack up calories and fat quickly! Stick with a few drops of olive oil.
5. Drink water or non-sweetened tea with your meal. Avoid caloric drinks such as juice or soda.
6. Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful—you’ll eat less! If you finish your plate before the others, you’re more likely to grab another plateful.
7. No need to rush to dessert. Have some space between the big meal and dessert, allowing time to take a walk or plan an activity with the family. Serve the meal in the afternoon and save the dessert for the evening.
Notes for the Thanksgiving chefs:
1. When grocery shopping, consider lean turkey with minimal fat, low-fat gravy, and low-sugar options.
2. Use fat-free chicken broth when cooking the turkey.
3. Avoid butter whenever possible and instead, opt for extra virgin olive oil for savory dishes and canola oil for baked goods. Check out this pie crust recipe for a healthier option.
4. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into the meal, but be careful not to smear them with high-fat dressings.
5. Swap the white flour for whole-wheat flour. Choose whole grain options whenever possible.
6. Opt for desserts that are naturally sweetened by fruits, as opposed to sugar.
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Photo Credit: Food Network