7 Simple Tips for a Trimmer Turkey Day
Oh, Thanksgiving, AKA “elastic waistband Thursday.” As we know, the holiday is often synonymous with a calorie free-for-all, leaving people embarrassingly full. And that’s just where the regret begins. So how can you enjoy your seasonal faves without going up a dress size…and without the guilty aftertaste? It’s all about having a game plan. Here’s mine:
1. Avoid skipping breakfast and lunch. Many people restrict meals earlier in the day, so that they can “cash-out” on the T-day feast. Unfortunately, this sets up the body for intense cravings, and a virtually insatiable appetite, leading to epic overeating and stealthy pants-unbuttoning.
And speaking of pants…
2. Wear real pants. While it’s only natural to gravitate towards those baggy sweats or yoga pants, form-fitting clothing can make you more conscious of how full you really are. Oxblood skinny jeans, anyone?
3. Snack smart. Plan on having a high-fiber snack a few hours before mealtime, such as hummus and crudités. This will help prevent that “hollow-leg” hunger, so that you can slow down and actually savor what’s on your plate.
4. Go green. Aim to have about half of your plate composed of green veggies. These guys back a serious fiber punch, and will help you control your portions of starchy sides.
5. Spice it up. Replace sugar-laden extras like marshmallow fluff with warm spices such as nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon (a natural appetite suppressant).
6. Portion prudently. Paying attention to serving sizes will save you major calories. Aim for the following portions: Turkey: around the size of a bar and a half of soap. Starchy sides (like stuffing + potatoes): stick to 2 sides, each around the size of golf ball. Cranberry sauce: sorry to diss a time-honored tradition, but I like subbing 1 tablespoon of unsweetened apple butter instead. Much less sugar, and puts a fun Fall spin on the meal.
“I usually skip the cranberry sauce too, unless it’s homemade…and even then, it’s not my fave. Too many preservatives in the store bought or canned stuff…yuck.” -Haylie
7. Dessert: enjoy it. Like, really enjoy it. If you’re itching for some pie, plate a sensible sliver and make it count (no need for sneaky bites out of the box). And don’t beat yourself up afterwards. Contrary to public opinion, taking yourself on a long guilt trip does not burn calories.
Follow Shira on Twitter