Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Around Town, Campaigns, Party Time
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. Dreams of my mom’s homemade dressing (that’s stuffing in a pan, y’all) and whatever gourmet goodies my brother-in-law/professional chef decides to make are already swirling in my head and making my mouth water. As much as we all love these Turkey Day treats, they cause internal struggles within us. To gorge, or not to gorge? That is the question that tugs at our heart strings and our waist lines. Well, I am a non believer in trying to give Thanksgiving a complete health makeover, since I generally try to maintain good eating habits to be heart healthy and in tip-top shape, but I always believe in cutting corners and trimming the fat.
It seems logical enough to skip every meal before Thanksgiving dinner to make room for more, but that is a terrible idea. Fasting all day will only mess-up your metabolism and cause you to overeat. You will also be more tempted to nibble while cooking. If you insist on trying to save calories before the big day, some nutritionists recommend reducing your daily caloric intake by 100 to 300 calories days in advance. That’s as easy as saying no to a latte or a slice of cheese on a sandwich or dessert each day.
Every Little Bit Counts
In the world of dieting, a calorie saved is a calorie earned, right? Think of ways to alter recipes to make them less fattening; like using egg whites instead of whole eggs, milk instead of heavy creams, or cheese made with 2% milk instead of the more fattening variety. Add some healthy dishes to the menu. The American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women websites both have delicious and nutritous recipes to try! Also, don’t fill your plate with ho-hum items you aren’t that interested in. Do you really want to eat those store-bought rolls and that boiled rice? Do you seriously need to slather everything with butter and gravy? Don’t feel like you have to eat everything served, and be careful to not go overboard on your portion sizes! Also, watch-out for holiday beverages. Wine, cider, cocktails and hot chocolate are all filled with sugar, so consider drinking water throughout the day.
It is almost involuntary to go to the serving table for a second helping of turkey, ham, stuffing and sweet potatoes, but fight the instinct! After licking that first plate clean, wait 20 to 30 minutes before deciding whether to get more or not. Why not spend that time enjoying the company of your family and friends? It’s rude to talk with your mouth full anyways.
Don’t Give-in to the Laziness
All that dense, dinner decadence makes you drowsy, and it seems like the couch and that football game on TV is calling your name. Instead of napping, why not add a little physical activity to the festivities? Get the family to take a stroll around the neighborhood, or play some football in the yard. If you have a Nintendo Wii or an Xbox 360 Kinect, get the family to play an interactive, controller-free game. Even busting-out a card or board game is better than sleeping the holiday away.