Thanksgiving is just around the corner and like most of us you will attempt to get your shopping done for the big day this coming week. As you prepare your grocery lists it’s important to keep your diet in mind whenever possible. Diets and weight loss efforts are always hard to maintain and sustain through the holiday season, however, with determination and focus, it can be done! While it is probably unrealistic to adhere to your normal diet completely during the holidays, there are a couple of tips to minimize the impact.
• Don’t overbuy food so that you are left with a lot of leftovers. Most of the weight people put on during the holidays surprisingly comes from the leftovers that you continue to eat for days following the actual holiday. Either buy just enough food to feed your family and guests or send your leftovers away with your guests.
• Use fat free broths whenever possible. This is a trick that can go along way without much notice in terms of flavor. A fat-free chicken broth can be used to baste the turkey and used to make gravy. • Use a low-fat yogurt and/or fat free sour cream for mashed potatoes, dips and various casserole dishes that you prepare to help reduce calories without sacrificing flavor.
• If you are going to indulge and abandon your diet for the day, at least get in some exercise! Going for a run in the morning or a walk after a big meal can help burn some of the calories and will also give you more energy, minimizing the dreaded “turkey coma” we get after eating.
• Eat a big and healthy breakfast. Filling up during the morning hours can help minimize your caloric intake of the unhealthy choices during the actual Thanksgiving meal. Many of us skip breakfast in anticipation of having a big meal in the afternoon. This actually increases hunger and the likelihood of having any will power during the meal will fly right out the window! Also, eating slowly and using smaller plates can help reduce calorie intake for any meal, not just the ones on holidays.
• Moderation is key. The holidays are special and you should certainly indulge in foods that you don’t normally having during the rest of the year. However, moderation of the foods you enjoy is important to avoid a high caloric intake through the day. Having a smaller portion of pumpkin pie than you normally door maybe not going back for seconds and thirds would be great strategies this time around.
• Diets often fail when we slide just a little bit and then abandon the diet completely. It’s so easy for diets to be derailed by just one bad day. If you skip exercising for one day, it easy for that to turn into several days and then into weeks. It’s important to get right back on track the next day with determination and excitement.
• Leftovers are the enemy! As noted earlier, avoid having any leftovers to tempt you for the days following Thanksgiving. Sending your guests off with your leftovers will be appreciated by your guests and more importantly, by your waistline!