The holiday season is upon us and for those of us that are trying to lose weight, this season could bring stress. For many, fear of weight gain could make them avoid their favorite holiday treats. There is no need to worry, however. With a little knowledge and planning, you can have your cake and eat it too!
Let’s take a look at some favorite Thanksgiving foods:
Turkey- If you make it a point to buy pasture raised turkey, you could be getting a good source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids from Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is also a great source of protein which decreases a rapid surge of insulin after a high carbohydrate meal.Cranberry Sauce - Make your cranberry sauce from scratch this year. Cranberries offer numerous health-benefits like cancer-prevention and protection against dangerous bacteria that can reside in our bodies.
Sweet Potatoes- These vegetables are packed with nutrition. Ironically, they contain less sugar than regular potatoes, are higher in fiber content, and are a rich source of beta-carotene.
Pumpkin Pie- You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging with some pumpkin pie this year. Pumpkins are a great source of vitamins A, C, and E, B-complex vitamins, and minerals like copper and calcium. Here is a great healthy recipe for Pumpkin Pie.
Other tips for not over-doing it on Thanksgiving:
Don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner starving!This in and of itself is a recipe for disaster. If you find yourself getting a bit peckish before dinner, snack on a piece of fruit with some nuts to curb your hunger. This way, you will be able to control how much you eat.
Know what food you are going to.Don’t be afraid to ask what food will be available so that you can consciously make a decision about what you will eat before you get there. Being psychologically prepared will allow you to have more control over your choices.
No healthier desserts being offered? Make your own and take it to dinner.What better way to control what you eat than preparing the food by yourself?
If there are appetizers, stick to the veggies platter.Dinner by itself could be rich in calories, so you don’t have to stock up on more before the actual meal has begun. Munch on raw broccoli, carrots, or celery before you actually eat dinner.
Don’t go nuts over the alcohol.Sure, you want to kick back and have some fun, but make sure to do so in moderation. You can mix spirits like vodka with carbonated water and lemon to cut back on calories.
Enjoying holiday foods doesn’t have to be a task when trying to lose weight. Remember, a little planning can go a long way. AND try and focus on the occasion, talking with friends and family, playing with children, and enjoying yourself overall, rather than just the food. After all, being with the ones you love is the real stuffing in your turkey.