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Thanksgiving can kill the diet

Healthy eating at Thanksgiving, yes it’s possible

Most of us know that staying healthy is about taking care of our bodies. A big part of that is eating right and exercising. Starting on Thanksgiving and through New Years many of us will struggle to maintain our weight, gaining an extra five or ten pounds. Then we will spend the next six months trying to lose the extra weight.

Thanksgiving is a day to eat delicious food, fellowship with family and friends and watch football. But is it possible to enjoy all of your favorite treats while maintaining your healthy diet by making a few smart choices? Yes, but it may take some work. It is estimated that the average person may consume as many as 3,000 calories today plus an estimated 200 grams of fat.

Keep in mind, thirty-five hundred calories makes one pound. If you consume an extra 500 calories a day for over a week you will gain an extra pound. The good news is portion control and small substitutions can easily lower your caloric intake.

Is Thanksgiving turkey healthy?

Turkey is a very healthy, especially compared with other meat choices. Keep the portion to approximately the size of a deck of cards and avoid the dressing and you may only consume 41 calories versus 330 for other types of meats such as prime rib.

The word salad sounds healthy…right? Wrong. If you consume a Waldorf salad laden with mayonnaise you may consume 110 calories in only a half of cup. A better choice would a mixed green salad with vegetables and a low calorie dressing.

Next, consider the casseroles. Casseroles are one of the biggest culprits for packing on the pounds. Eat a large helping of green bean casserole filled with high fat soup and fried onions, and although you may get a few vitamins such as Vitamin C, K and A, you will consume 220 calories, and that’s if you eat only a half of cup.

Sweet potato casserole filled with butter and cups of brown sugar can also destroy a diet. A tasty alternative is a baked sweet potato lightly sprinkled with brown sugar and a little butter.

Struggling with Dessert

If you have watched your weight and strictly dieted for the last year you may be asking yourself if it’s okay to enjoy yourself for one day. It is, but it is all about portion control. If you find that you cannot say no to the joys of pecan pie, which is one of the most calorie laden pies with an estimated 480 calories per slice, eat a very small bite and substitute pumpkin pie which is 180 calories. Eliminate the crust and pumpkin pie becomes truly lean.

Bottom line

Don’t jeopardize your health and diet over the holidays. Commit to moving. For instance, the average person needs “60-to-90 minutes of daily, low-to-moderate physical activity for controlling and maintaining a normal body weight.” Commit to eating only one serving of food. Avoid seconds and the most unhealthy foods, and come January, your body will thank you.
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