Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

November 16, 2016 | posted in: Fitness Tip of the Week, Nutrition | by

Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family and/or friends and be thankful. However, it is basically a holiday the revolves around food. Scary amounts of food usually. The average number of calories consumed during Thanksgiving dinner is 3,000 calories! FYI, the recommended number of calories per day is 1700 to 2000 calories, PER DAY. (Health, p.20, 2013)

That being said, Thanksgiving dinner can be less scary and calorie consuming as long as we prepare, mentally and physically. Don’t just give up and allow yourself to eat anything and everything that day (I’m speaking from experience because I’m totally guilty). Be prepared for the fact that everything will smell good all day long, you will want to graze all day for “taste-tests”; or equally as bad, you will fast all morning and then pig out on the main meal. Try to eat a normal/light breakfast and eat light protein-packed snacks throughout the day. When it comes to the dinner, allow yourself to have extra of your favorite food (i.e., ONE item) but then have normal to small portions of everything else.

  • If you love turkey (light and dark) with extra gravy, try to limit portions of stuffing and mashed potatoes to the size of half a tennis ball and only indulge in a sliver of pie that measures about 2 thumbnails in width at the crust.
  • If you love pie or dessert, take a full piece (i.e., 1/8th of a pie) but keep your portions of gravy and cranberry sauce to golf-ball-size and your skinless white-meat turkey to the size of a smart phone.
  • If you love stuffing, allow yourself to eat a portion the size of your fist. Then keep your skinless white-meat turkey to the size of a smart phone, gravy and cranberry sauce to the size of a golf-ball, mashed potatoes to the size of a large egg, and a sliver of pie that measures 2 thumbnails in width at the crust.
  • Include “greens” on your plate as well, at least a hand full of green beans, peas or whatever greens are at your table (besides your Aunt’s green jell-o mold)
  • Turkey without the skin will save you “about 4 grams of fat from a 4-oz portion.” (Health, p.57, 2013)

Most importantly, have a fun, safe and healthy Thanksgiving!

Healthy, happy living!


“Turkey Day Trimmings” Health Magazine 27.9, November 2013: 20. Print

“Happy No-Guilt Thanksgiving!” Health Magazine 27.9, November 2013: 57-58. Print

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