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20 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving

healthy-thanksgiving-dining-tips-weight-managementFor many, November kicks off the holiday season. Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) is a time to be grateful for all you have and continue to work for. (And also a time to eat more turkey in one day than you do all year.)

You can enjoy Thanksgiving and stick to your wellness goals. Jessi Boehme, MS, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Mary Free Bed, offers 20 tips for staying healthy during the upcoming festivities:

  1. Small changes to your staple recipes can make them healthier
    – Cut back on sodium/salt
    – Swap in non-fat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or butter
    – Try lower-fat milk instead of whole milk
  2. Pack your stuffing with low-sodium broth and minced/chopped onions and mushrooms
  3. Grab wholegrain rolls for leftover turkey sandwiches
  4. If you eat buffet-style, first pile your plate with fruits and vegetables, then go back for deluxe dishes
  5. If you don’t think anyone is bringing a fruit or veggie platter, volunteer to do it yourself
  6. Fish-friendly meals tend to be high in protein and less dense in calories
  7. Skip the poultry skin and cut the fat
  8. Making coleslaw? Use vinegar and oil instead of mayo
  9. Make your own cranberry sauce instead of purchasing a pre-made can, which has loads of added sugar
  10. Instead of filling the mashed potatoes with cream and butter, boost flavor with herbs, spices and garlic
    Bonus tip! Fill half of your mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower to add more fiber and cut calories
  11. Cut back on brown sugar and marshmallows in your sweet potato casserole; let its natural sweetness shine through
  12. Use smaller plates with a color that contrasts the food you are eating. If you have a green plate full of green beans they may not look as appealing as they would against a red plate.
  13. Getting ready for the holiday toast? Top half a glass of wine with half a glass of carbonated water to reduce alcohol and sugar
  14. Stay hydrated with water to keep food moving through your digestive track
  15. Don’t skip breakfast and lunch to “save calories” for the big meal. This only lends itself to going overboard during the big meal and reaching that uncomfortable full feeling
  16. Be active after your Thanksgiving meal. Hanging on the couch will slow your digestion, and you’ll likely fall asleep with a belly full of food. Try a family walk and help keep your body alert and digestive system happy
  17. Thanksgiving is one day out of 365. It doesn’t have to turn into a week of overeating. Enjoy yourself the day of and practice moderation the rest of the time
  18. Make each bite and dish last longer by taking your time with your meal. Enjoy the aroma, taste and texture of your foods
  19. Turn off the TV, put away the phones and keep all other distractions away during dinner. This will help to curb overindulging
  20. Start with smaller portions and wait a while before returning for seconds

Want a more personalized approach to the holidays or looking for help to stay on track these next few months? Check out a free informational session offered by Mary Free Bed’s Weight Management Program and let us help you set and reach your healthy lifestyle goals.

We also offer Outpatient Nutrition Services, which include one-on-one sessions with experts who can help you to meet your wellness goals.

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