Thinner Thanksgiving Tips
1. Don’t fast all day in anticipation of the big meal. This will drop your blood sugar, and you will compensate for your fast as soon as you start to eat. What to do? Eat lighter earlier in the day. This keeps blood sugar levels stable, while allowing you to “bank” a few extra calories for your Thanksgiving favorites.
2. “Half Plate” Rule. It is silly to think you won’t indulge at all on Thanksgiving. Better to have a sensible game plan. What to do? Whether it is an appetizer, dinner or dessert plate, fill half of the plate with healthy, lower calorie food selections (think fruit and veggies!) and the other half with whatever foods really turn you on. This helps you to avoid feeling deprived, but gives you some portion control as well. Just remember… it is ONE plate!
3. Be Prepared. Before that holiday dinner, recognize the situations that cause you to overeat, and then strategize. When it comes to eating behavior, 90% is mental. Rehearse in your head what you will eat, how you will eat, who you would like to sit next to, etc. Have a plan of attack when entering the diet danger zone.
4. Scan and Select. Think of the calories you eat as money in the bank. Make wise investments with your calories by using the “scan and select” strategy. Grandma’s butternut cake may be worth every calorie, but a baby hot dog not so much. Pick your favorite, favorite foods and eat them. Don’t waste calories on the other stuff.
5. Ask for Help. If you are hosting the event, ask for some help when cleaning up. Socializing while clearing the table makes you less likely to eat while you put the food away. You do not want to be alone with a pile of leftovers at the end of the night.
6. Send Away Trigger Foods. If there are any trigger foods that were brought by or in honor of a houseguest, send them home with the houseguest. You want to get trigger foods out of the house ASAP!
7. Love that pumpkin and pecan pie? Just eat the filling and save tons of calories. Most of the fat and calories are in the crust!
8. Poll The Family. You may find that you’re slaving away over a green bean casserole or candied yams that don’t make anybody’s top 10 list. Use your findings to simplify and slim down your selections. Serve green beans with a sprinkling of sesame seeds or almonds, or make baked yams, for example.
9. Don’t Cook (or Buy) For An Army. If your family can’t live without your chocolate chip cookies, make a batch for them and aim for few leftovers. Have a favorite signature dish you find impossible to resist but are expected to make or bring? Buy single sized portions for your guests or ask a close friend/relative to take over that dish.
10. Find Lower Calorie Alternatives To Traditional Favorites. Love shortbread (a 3 inch cookie is 120 calories)? Try sugar cookies (a 3 inch cookie is 66 calories). Go online to get recipes or ingredient swaps. There are so many great alternatives out there!