Thanksgiving is the time for feasting, but overdoing it can ruin the fun. The key to enjoying yourself is to eat healthy without feeling deprived. This is especially important if you have weight loss goals. Here are some tips for a healthier Thanksgiving:
- Choose healthier substitutes when you prepare your food. For instance, use margarine instead of butter. Margarine is better for heart health as it contains unsaturated “good” fats which lower “bad” cholesterol. Also, be careful about how much salt you add to the food. Excessive intake of salt stresses the body and is a major health risk for people with congestive heart failure or water retention.
- Include a variety of foods on the table, especially healthy options like low calorie salads and dishes with avocado, cranberries, beans, squash chickpeas, and veggies. If you prepare more of healthier foods, you will have healthier leftovers!
- Turkey is healthy as it is lean, filling protein and packed with B vitamins, selenium and potassium. Avoid buying a turkey that has been injected with flavorings, fat and oil. Use low-fat, low-salt broth, wine or juice to baste your bird. Make sure your cook it well as like all birds, turkey contains bacteria. When undercooked, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and general illnesses. Check out the recommended temperature for cooking turkey and make sure use a thermometer. Be careful when you cut the turkey. Use a carving fork and focus well when you are using a knife.
- Watch your portions. Do indulge yourself when you fill your plate, but put in those healthy options first. Eat slowly as this will make you feel fuller faster. Try to limit yourself to a single plate and avoid second and third helpings.
- Don’t forget to exercise throughout the holiday season. Sticking to your exercise routine is important as it will burn those extra calories.
- Many driving accidents happen during Thanksgiving, mainly under the influence of alcohol. Watch how much you drink, be extra cautious when you’re on the road, and drive safe.
Have a healthy and happy holiday season!