Tips for staying on track during Thanksgiving
about 3 years ago
It's that time of year again... Time to break out those stretchy pants and eat until you feel like you can roll like a ball! Right? We may laugh about it but this is typically the time of year when we give ourselves the free pass to eat whatever we want until January hits! We think to ourselves, "What's one more cookie? I can lose the extra weight starting New Years Day!" With just a few simple tweaks to your typical routine, you can avoid the holiday pounds yet still enjoy good food and time with family.Work out extra Thanksgiving week. It's simple, you will be consuming extra calories so burn some extra calories! I even recommend scheduling a 5k thanksgiving day just so you can be in more of a calorie deficit before you start your feast!Decide whether you are going to focus on portion control or healthier choices for your dinner. If you chose portion control, concentrate on taking about half the portion size of each food you put on your plate. If you focus on healthier choices, then simply load up more on healthier foods (portion control doesn't matter as much in this case). Just get white meat instead of dark meat turkey, more vegetable based dishes, and go easy on the starches and added butter based dishes.Sweets.... There are usually a ton of them at holiday get togethers. I am not a proponent of avoiding them completely, because I believe this leads to binging at other times. Instead, allow yourself a small portion of one dessert you really love! I love pumpkin pie for instance (dietitians do still have taste buds after all) and I allow room for this in my "discretionary calorie bank account" every thanksgiving! What's a discretionary calorie bank account you ask? It's a percentage of your total calories that you allow for foods that aren't nutritionally dense, in other words they are empty calories (calories that are good for the soul). If you are on a 2000 calorie diet, simply multiply .2 by 2000. You get 400 discretionary calories. Please keep in mind that is the maximum amount you should spend on your discretionary calories and you don't have to use it every day (maybe just for special occasions). Or you can just say, I am not going to spend more than 200 calories a day on foods that aren't good for me if that is easier than figuring your percentage. If you live the 80/20 rule as part of your lifestyle, you will do no different on Thanksgiving day.Finally, bring something healthy to eat so if you feel like there aren't a lot of healthy options on the table then you have a "go to" in the dish you brought. If you are making the dinner, you are in control, and can cut calories in many places while making the Thanksgiving staples (adding less butter, not adding marshmallows to yams, etc.) Remember, although Thanksgiving is centered around eating, it doesn't have to be all about that. Take advantage of spending time with the ones you love.. Playing games, watching football, or just having deep conversation.In closing, I thought I would share my favorite sweet potato recipe! Happy Thanksgiving friends!Use 6 medium sweet potatoes, put small holes in them with a fork, put in microwave until soft... Let cool, then peel off skin... Mash in large mixing bowl, add 1.5 cups coconut milk, 2 tbs fresh minced ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, mash all together. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, you can also mix in cinnamon and a little butter before putting it in the oven... Heat 350 degrees for 8 to 10 mins. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and dried cranberries and serve!