Q: How do I not overdo it at Thanksgiving dinner while still taking part in the tradition of eating?
A: One meal will not make or break your diet or weight management goals. In fact, it’s probably very rare to find a person who doesn’t overeat at festive holiday gatherings where good food and holiday spirit abound. Keep in mind that the real damage occurs when we keep on overeating from Turkey Day all the way through January 1. We each need to be vigilant about putting the brakes on excessive calorie overload during this dangerous time of year for the battle of the bulge.
That said, how can we prevent feeling like a stuffed turkey after this year’s Thanksgiving meal? Planning ahead is the key as well as using a few calorie-cutting tricks. Lighten up your favorite holiday recipes by cutting back on fat, sugar and salt and substituting healthier ingredients. Load up on lower-calorie vegetable dishes before and on your holiday dinner plate. Use strict portion control for the higher-calorie foods and be careful about drinking your calories—nutmeg or alcoholic drinks that can easily add to your meal’s calorie overload.
The goal of this holiday season should be to avoid weight gain. Make your New Year’s resolution on Thanksgiving Day by watching your food intake and getting that exercise in—set a goal of walking away from the scale reading the same number on January 1, 2009, as it reads on November 27, 2008, and you will truly have given yourself the holiday gift of health.