Thanksgiving Made Thinner

Thanksgiving Made Thinner
One of the biggest stressors ominously hanging over Thanksgiving like a heavy cloud is the 3,500 calorie meal. Many of us are worried about gaining weight and undoing all the hard work required for our dietary success. We fear that the meal will unleash a host of dietary demons as we revert to our old eating habits. Ironically, a roast turkey is hailed by dieticians as a healthy source of lean protein, the white meat of the turkey without skin that is. So what’s all the fuss about?

It’s that family gathering, with all the dishes slathered in butter, oil, mega carbs and no one leaving the table for hours. Furthermore, many of us skip breakfast in anticipation of the big meal and that’s a big mistake.

So don’t gobble, gobble, instead nibble, nibble. Here are some tips for a guilt-free and healthy Thanksgiving Dinner:
  • Eat a protein and high fiber breakfast.
  • Exercise Thanksgiving morning. Make it a new ritual.
  • Eat a protein and high fiber small meal before you leave to the dinner. Never arrive starving!
  • If you are preparing the meal:
    • Serve dips made with non fat yogurt surrounded by cut-up vegetables.
    • Put more mushrooms, onions, celery, eggplant, etc. into the stuffing and less bread.
    • In desserts that call for oil or butter, use unsweetened apple sauce or pureed plums.
    • Create a beautiful fruit plate, perhaps a pineapple boat.Serve sweet potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. And if you do serve mashed potatoes, use roasted garlic instead of butter for flavor.
    • Prepare vegetables without oil. Instead, cook them with dill and top with slivered almonds.
  • Wear tight clothes. If you are eating too much, you will feel uncomfortable and remember to stop eating. Don’t unbuckle your belt.
  • Sit next to someone who eats healthy and is weight conscious.
  • Eat smaller portions - a tasting menu.
  • Fill your plate with vegetables, sweet potato and white meat turkey without the skin. Chew slowly and enjoy each bite.
  • No second helpings!
  • If you wish to have some alcohol, then drink wine with your dinner and not high calorie mixed drinks like eggnog.
  • Drink plenty of water with the meal to fill you up.
  • Don’t feel deprived. Have a sliver of dessert and eat it very, very slowly.
  • Take a walk after the Thanksgiving meal.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, and a personal trainer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB 1240AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit:

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