As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are looking forward to gathering with our loved ones to share a hearty and tasty holiday meal. However, overeating can add on the pounds and lead to a sense of lethargy and regret.
The answer to that dilemma? Be smart in how and what you eat, without diminishing your enjoyment of eating a wide variety of food in the good company of family and friends.
“There’s a way to eat in moderation and not consume too much of the foods that are heavy in calories,” said Silvia Delgado, a registered dietician with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “And you can do this without putting a damper on the holiday spirit. This can be done through mental preparation and being selective in what and how much you eat.”
According to Delgado, it can be challenging to sit down at the Thanksgiving dinner table and not indulge. However, she has some simple advice: “Be a calorie snob and ask yourself, ‘Is this worth the calories?’ ”
To help you resist the temptation of overeating, Delgado recommends the following:
• Try to stay at least an arm’s length away from the food table before and after eating to prevent nibbling.
• Choose smaller portions of your favorite foods and eat slowly, savoring every bite. Chew 8-10 times.
• If you want seconds, wait a few minutes first so you can really feel your body’s response to fullness.
To help you succeed in not overeating and regretting it afterwards, Delgado also recommended that you:
• Use a smaller plate, if possible.
• Start with non-cream-based soup or salad.
• Try to avoid meats, eggs and croutons on starter salads. Place the dressing on the side.
• Fill half your plate with vegetable dishes.
• Fill up on skinless turkey breast
• Watch out for the gravy train. Limit to about a tablespoon and keep it off other items.
“These are simple steps we can all take to avoid overeating and packing on the pounds, which can be difficult to lose,” Delgado noted. “Remember that it’s possible to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal and feel good about it afterward, knowing you did it in a way that will maintain or improve your health.”