Have healthy holidays!

Preventing the holiday weight gain.

You don’t have to let out your clothes after the holidays. Thanksgiving Day is notorious for overeating and for starting the holiday weight gain. Michigan State University Extension states that watching your portion size along with eating slowly and enjoying every bite, can help prevent you from overeating. Making some substitutions in your meal preparation can lighten the calories and keep the flavor of the season. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Turkey – Choose an unbasted instead of a self-basted bird. This helps to lower the sodium intake. For a moist turkey, leave the skin on while roasting and don’t over bake. Take the skin off before eating, and make gravy to cover the meat after carving. Voila – moist, healthy turkey!
  • Gravy – Take the fat off the juices before making the gravy. You can save around 56 grams of fat per cup by doing this. It is easier to remove the fat if you have a fat-skimmer cup, but you can also chill the juices. The fat then rises to the top and is very easy to take off.
  • Dressing – If you’re not making this from scratch, purchase a low-sodium boxed stuffing mix and add sautéed vegetables – onions, celery, mushrooms, even apples! Bake outside the bird to avoid excess fat drippings and enjoy!
  • Potatoes – For mashed potatoes, use skim milk and a little garlic powder instead of whole milk and butter. You can also use low calorie margarine instead of butter. You may even want to cook some cauliflower or parsnips with the potatoes and mash them all together. This will increase your vegetable intake and not take away from the flavor of the potatoes. This is also a trick for picky-eater children.
  • Yams – Candied yams are a part of many Thanksgiving celebrations. Instead of butter and marshmallows, try sweetening them with apple or orange juice and some ground cinnamon. It is a much less caloric side dish and tastes wonderful.
  • Green bean casserole – Cook fresh or frozen green beans and add chunks of cooked potatoes and fat-free half and half instead of creamed soups. You can use almonds to top instead of the fried onion rings.

With a little creativity, you might be able to take these tips further, looking for substitutions for your desserts and other family favorites.

Small steps every day can lead to healthier eating. If you try to do everything at once, you may not be as successful compared to changing one healthy habit at a time. After that one change becomes a habit, look for another change to help make you healthier.

Be sure to savor every bite this holiday season – just be mindful of how good every morsel tastes and how much you are eating. Hopefully this Thanksgiving will be full of family and friends and not with you spending time looking for larger pants!

Related Events

Related Articles

Related Resources