Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Like it is only 93 days.

Some of us are beginning to plan our menus. Are you aware that eating healthfully on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite foods. (Jennifer K.. Nelson, registered dietitian and director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minn. You can have a wonderful meal without going overboard on calories. There are things you can feed your families other than the surgery pecan pies and creamed sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. Jennifer Nelson says, in  My Health News Daily, “If you’ve got your eating under control for the majority of the time, go ahead and have a piece of pie just don;t lose control entirely”.

Here are a few things we can do to ensure we avoid overdoing it on Thanksgiving or other holidays.

  1. Stick to healthy portions.

Just one plate of Thanksgiving food is all you get, Nelson said. Fill up half your plate with vegetables, fruit and a whole wheat roll, a quarter of it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, and a quarter of  it with turkey or ham. And, the more colorful your plate, the better – so get lots of leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers and beets in your veggie spread, Nelson said.

“If you fill up on those lower caloric density and higher nutrition things, you’re going to feel full, but not bloated and tired, because it’s a lighter fare,” she said.

It’s a holiday, so indulge a bit if your diet allows it. But if you’re going to eat dessert, make sure you allot for the calories elsewhere – don’t go back for that second helping of marshmallow sweet potatoes, and instead opt for the cranberry salad, said American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist.

  1. Eat before you indulge.

Don’t starve yourself during the early part of Thanksgiving Day, with the idea that you’re just “saving room” for all the food, or that this will make it okay for you to overeat later. It’s a recipe for overeating, Sandquist said.

  1. Substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones.

There are plenty of ways to make your Thanksgiving meal healthier. For mashed potatoes, Nelson suggested mixing in chicken broth, herbs or roasted garlic to perk up the flavor instead of adding in butter.

For green bean casserole, swap out fried onions with toasted almonds for a less-oily alternative, and instead of having cranberry sauce, opt instead to make a cranberry salad, Sandquist said. And for dips, use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream — the consistency is similar, but yogurt has less fat and more protein, she said.

  1. Drink lots of water and take a walk after eating.

Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty, Sandquist said. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll lower the risk of overeating.

It’s also a good idea to take a walk after eating to get your metabolism going instead of laying on the couch, she said.

  1. Avoid snacking throughout the day.

Abide by the “out of sight, out of mind” mantra, Sandquist said: Once you’ve filled your plate with food, cover up the food and put it away.

For more suggestions and support from health professionals contact the staff at WeightoWellness. They will help you start now on a plan tailored just for you to ensure you make wise choices before, during, and after Thanksgiving.  Phone 205-994-2393/www.weightowellnessllc.com.

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