This is the time of year when anxiety starts to build over Thanksgiving dinner and our waistlines begin to quiver with the anticipation. How do you survive the holidays and stick to your weight loss goals?
If you haven’t heard the statistics, the average American will consume 3,500 calories in just one Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re one of those people who has to make many stops to different households for dinner, hopefully by the second or third one, you will have had your fill and you won’t be tempted to eat so much. The most important thing to remember is portion control. Keep it to a minimum and you should successfully avoid the bulge.
The number one rule is not to stress out about it. Try not to let your weight gain anxieties spoil the festivities. This is a special time of year and you have a right to enjoy it as much as the next person.
While setting up a list of rules may add to your anxiety, having a few guidelines should take the pressure off. Having an effective game plan in place will allow you more time to focus on family and friends and less on the delicious temptations in front of you.
Let’s start with a review of how many calories your typical Thanksgiving dinner contains:
- 6 oz turkey breast meat = 321 calories
- ½ cup gravy = 75 calories
- 1 cup stuffing = 400 calories
- 2 dinner rolls with butter = 260 calories
- 1 cup mashed potatoes = 237 calories
- 1 cup glazed carrots = 90 calories
- ¾ cup cranberry sauce = 314 calories
- 1 glass of red wine = 150 calories
- 1 slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream = 331 calories
- 1 cup coffee with cream and sugar = 40 calories
Tips to Surviving Thanksgiving Weight Gain
1. Eat a hearty breakfast so that you won’t be tempted by cravings and the sights and smells of all those delicious treats.
2. The most important tip is portion control. Allow yourself one plate of food and no more. If your host uses overly large plates, adjust your portion to match a medium-sized plate. Divide your plate into three areas and aim for a ratio of half veggies, a quarter protein and a quarter carbohydrates. And remember, one plate doesn’t mean one heaping plate.
3. Know what foods to avoid:
Avoid appetizers, finger foods and other pre-dinner treats, unless it is just veggies with no dip – then go ahead and eat as many celery sticks as you like.
Salad is good but not if it’s already dressed with high-fat creamy dressings. Coleslaw is one salad that makes the grade on most Thanksgiving menus, but it comes loaded with fat and sugar.
Soup is always a great way to start a meal, but if it’s cream-based, best to either only sample it or skip on it altogether.
Some people are just crazy about dressing, but it is probably the most fattening thing on the menu. If you absolutely love dressing, allow yourself a small spoonful.
Make a choice between the dinner rolls and the stuffing, but don’t give in to both.
Gravy or cranberry sauce? Make a decision to have one or the other but not both.
Only eat white meat, as it has fewer calories.
Limit yourself to a couple of healthy sides – like steamed vegetables.
Eat the sweet potatoes instead of the white potatoes, unless of course, they come glazed in brown sugar. Then you can go either way!
4. Drink water with your meal for several reasons: to help fill you up; to help reduce that bloated feeling afterward; to avoid drinking too much alcohol.
5. Offer to make some of your own dishes like dessert so you have more control over how many calories you eat. Or better still, host the dinner party and then you have complete control.
6. Avoid sitting at the table after dinner because you’ll be more tempted to keep eating and snacking. Go for a walk after dinner.
7. When dinner is over, it’s over. Avoid snacking on after-dinner chocolates, sweets or cheese. If it didn’t make it onto your one plate of food, it should not enter your mouth!
Hopefully some of these tips will help with the anxiety and you can enjoy Thanksgiving without the inevitable weight gain. Think of it as practice for that upcoming Christmas dinner and remember – don’t be a turkey!
Originally published @ FITLODE.COM