Eating healthy during Thanksgiving and the holiday season can be a challenge. In addition to the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, there are always tempting treats to try at the dinner table that are full of hidden calories. According to the Western CT Health Network, most people gain about a pound during the holiday season and this pound tends to stay long past New Year’s Day. Here are a few tips to help you navigate holiday eating without feeling any regret:
- Choose small, low-calorie meals earlier in the day. This will balance out the calories you’ll eat at a party or family dinner. Eat a piece of fruit before to fill you up.
- Choose boiled shrimp or veggies and a little dip instead of cheese or fried foods. Though tasty, fried foods contain trans fat, which increases your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and decreases your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
- Watch your intake of fat and “empty calories” in sweets, such as eggnog and pumpkin pie. Half a cup of eggnog has 9.5 grams of fat and 171 calories, while one slice of pumpkin pie packs whopping 14 fat grams and 316 calories. If possible, satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit or angel food cake instead.
- Foods on your dinner plate may also have hidden calories. For example, half a cup of stuffing has nearly 9 grams of fat and 178 calories.
- If you drink alcohol, have only one alcoholic drink if you’re a woman; two drinks if you’re a man. Then switch to water. Alcohol is high in calories.
For more information on how to eat healthy this Thanksgiving, check out this Holiday Eating Guide from AARP.
Happy Thanksgiving from Age Well CT!
This post was adapted from an article by the Western Connecticut Health Network.