(NC) – Ah, the Thanksgiving feast. Family, friends, food, and more food. According to wellnessjuncton.com, Thanksgiving dinner alone carries a load of 3,000 calories. And most of us will nibble our way through another 1,500 calories on dips, chips and drinks before and after the big meal. Combined, that’s the equivalent of more than two and a quarter times the average daily calorie intake and almost three and half times the fat.
So how do you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner without feeling like a big turkey yourself the next day? First thing’s first – realize that it’s all right to indulge occasionally – we all do. ‘Food is supposed to be comforting, nourishing, loving and fun,’ says Lois Ferguson, Registered Dietitian and author of the best selling book, Eating for Energy and Ecstasy. ‘Holidays, such as Thanksgiving are centered around the meal, and to deprive yourself of that, is to deprive yourself of the holiday itself.’
If you overdo it during the holiday, just make sure to get right back on your weight loss or maintenance plan the next day. ‘A viable option that makes it easy for Canadians to enjoy the festive foods and maintain their weight loss goals is the SlimFast plan,’ adds Ferguson. ‘The plan offers a flexible, simple approach that combines great taste, nutritionally balanced and portion-controlled meal replacements with healthy foods. The recommended SlimFast plan includes two meal replacements per day and a sensible/well balanced third meal that consists of protein, grain products and vegetables – the essential elements of a Thanksgiving dinner – along with healthy snacks during the day. SlimFast also recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily – so enjoy a refreshing walk with the family the day after Thanksgiving!’
Other easy tips such as limiting alcohol and avoiding high-fat hors d’oeuvres will help you remain on track. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep you feeling full. Also, if the mashed potatoes and stuffing are too tempting, limit your serving size to one tablespoon of each to experience the flavour with only a portion of the fat.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner remember you have control of the type of menu that will be served. To manage your calorie in-take for this meal, try to shop with a planned list to avoid impulse purchases of items such as baked pies and cookies. Use nonstick pans instead of cooking with fats and oils and try cooking techniques, such as broiling, baking, steaming, or stir-frying.
For a wonderful Thanksgiving feast without the guilt, try out one of these low-cal, sensible but delicious recipes: