Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.
Spread out the food and fun all day long. At the Finn family Thanksgiving gathering, they schedule dessert after a walk, while watching a movie together.
“We eat midday, and instead of another meal at dinnertime, we continue the feast with dessert a few hours after the main meal,” Finn explains.
Go Easy on Alcohol
Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.
“Have a glass of wine or a wine spritzer and between alcoholic drinks, (or) enjoy sparkling water,” says Diekman. “this way you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.”
The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.
“Shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance,” says Finn. “You will be ahead of the game if you can avoid gaining any weight over the holidays.”
Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving for the delicious food (and, of course, the leftovers!). But did you know that the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories at the Thanksgiving meal? Try the following strategies so you still can enjoy your meal more while making it more healthful (and less caloric):
Don’t come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.
Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etcetera. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite dishes—think in terms of moderation!
Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table. Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.
Go skinless…most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg, or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat. (Have you ever thought of trying a vegetarian Thanksgiving? It’s a radical concept for many, but it’s a fun way to think creatively in the kitchen about the holiday.)
Eat slowly…put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food!
If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density!