Most of us have experienced turkey coma at least once in our life time. Each year, I promise myself to have only one bite of the pecan pie; one becomes two and two becomes 10… You see where I’m going. The next morning I resolve to eat clean, only to be faced with a traditional Friday night dinner.
Here are their “fowl” or fool proof suggestions.
How can we enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without feeling guilty the morning after?
LM: “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year! I love gathering with my family, watching football, drinking hot cider and finally enjoying a beautiful meal together. I always have a Thanksgiving Day Health and Wellness Plan and encourage my clients to do the same. This makes for a stress free day full of family, delicious food and memories. Remember, Thanksgiving is one meal, not an entire week. Treat this day as a regular day; begin with a protein rich breakfast to set the foundation for a healthy day of eating. Get in a workout if time permits and eat consistently throughout the day.”
TZ: “Remember that Thanksgiving is just one meal. If you go overboard and indulge on Thanksgiving Day, wake up the next morning excited to get back to your usual routine of healthy eating. Don’t let guilt cause a week of poor eating. Outside of your Thanksgiving dinner, stick to regular meal times, incorporate lean protein and fiber with every meal, and focus on foods that are filling yet low in calories to keep post-Thanksgiving guilt at bay.”
I definitely want to eat dessert. How do I avoid the rabbit hole?
LM: “Make dessert part of your plan. If you love a sweet indulgence, choose a small piece of pie with a side of high fiber, filling berries. Pair your dessert with a cup of soothing tea and enjoy. Most importantly plate your dessert, sit at the table with a napkin on your lap and enjoy mindfully and without guilt.”
TZ: “Studies show three bites is all we need to fully appreciate a dessert: a first, a middle, and a last. Deciding between a homemade pie using your family’s famous recipe or a store bought chocolate cake? Choose the special dessert that you are not offered at other times and savor every bite. This way you can feel good about the conscious decision you made to indulge.”
What dishes are the biggest offenders?
LM: “Traditional Thanksgiving meals are often loaded with excess unhealthy fat and calories. Green bean casseroles prepared with creamy mushroom soup and fried onions, tops my list. Stuffing and sweet potato pie with marshmallows may also tip the scale. Sweet potatoes are sweet and delicious on their own without the added sugar and butter. If you love the marshmallows on top, whip baked sweet potatoes on their own, add marshmallows and carefully broil until golden brown and crispy. If you aren’t opting for lighter versions of traditional Thanksgiving Day dishes, fill up your plate with lean turkey breast, salad, roasted veggies and try 1-2 tbsp of each of your favorite dishes. Remember this is one meal and you want to save room for dessert!”
TZ: “Appetizers are often sneaky offenders. At 460 calories per serving, nix the pigs in a blanket and go for a lean protein appetizer like two lean turkey meatballs or five shrimp cocktail. Opt for fresh crudité, just steer clear of the Ranch or Spinach-Artichoke dip which can easily pack on 200 calories with just two to three tablespoons.
Craving creamy potatoes? Go for mashed sweet potatoes, which are so tasty that they don’t need butter, fatty toppings, or gravy. Mashed potatoes with butter and gravy can pack on over 400 calories! Plus sweet potatoes have twice as much metabolism-boosting fiber as their white potato counter part. Do not underestimate drinks. Instead of traditional eggnog at 350-450 calories per glass, sip on warm apple cider or a glass of wine at about 100 calories each.”