Lets face it, your typical Thanksgiving meal is LOADED with calories, sugars, fats, and a whole lot of unhealthy delicious-ness. Instead of making ourselves sick with too much to eat this Thanksgiving, try to make these little changes that will make a huge difference in your caloric intake. You don’t have to eat “clean and healthy” on your Thanksgiving feast, but it would be smart to make these small changes. Remember to always use the light version of the ingredient, cut back on butter by using applesauce, and cut back on sugar by using a sugar substitute (Truvia and Stevia are the ones that are more natural than splenda and sweet n low). Cook with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Try to stay away from the canned, processed stuff.
Many of the calories and fat occur before the actual meal in the form of bite sized hor derves and drinks. Cut these in half by snacking on fruits veggies, nuts, and low fat crackers and cheese. Stay away from things like swedish meat balls, little weiner dogs, and creamy dips. Also, if you are drinking wine, remember, you can add 2 oz of soda water to your 2 oz of wine to make it seem like you are getting more than you really are while cutting your wine calories in half. If you are drinking beer, stick to the light beers.
Save calories with your side dishes too! If you are making dressing (or stuffing), use whole wheat bread instead of the white bread, use low sodium chicken broth, and toss in hearty things like real fruits and nuts. This will give your dressing tons of flavor and crunch. Oh and who doesn’t love mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving……I know I do! They are probably my favorite dish and potatoes can be healthy for you if eaten in moderation. Potatoes have tons of vitamins and if you mix them with skim milk and real garlic and some smart balance, you are guaranteed a creamy, healthier mashed potato side dish.
Sweets………yum! I think I could skip the rest of the meal and just eat sweets. I have a love for my sweets but know they come with a price! So, instead of just eating sweets as my entire meal, I have to eat my turkey and mashed potatoes and broccoli too. But I get to enjoy my sweets too with a little modification. Pie. Yum. Instead of making your pie with the typical fat-ladden pie crust, you can use crushed graham crackers. You don’t even need to add butter to the graham crackers. Just crumbled the cracker and place it in the bottom of your pie dish before pouring the filling on top. Save yourself some more calories by substituting light/fat free cool whip in place of ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
With these little substituitions, you can save yourself 1,000+ calories from your meal. How about that?!?!?! That is a little less running you will have to do on Friday to void all of the calories you consumed on Thursday.
Don’t forget to read my workout post on Friday for some weight exercises you can do the day after a big meal.
Oh yeah, and what are you thankful for?