Ah, Thanksgiving — a time for family, friends, tradition, and most importantly, deliciously indulgent comfort food. From dinner rolls to stuffing to mashed potatoes and gravy, Americans look forward to this holiday as the quintessential day to feast with no remorse and certainly no counting calories!
But did you know that the average Thanksgiving meal will set you back anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 calories and about 250 grams of fat? Considering the daily recommended total intake is 2,000 calories and 65 grams of fat, this one meal can considerably hurt your chances of looking great at the holiday party.
“A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, the American Council on Exercise’s chief exercise physiologist. “Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4,500.”
Instead of committing yourself to an impossible post-Thanksgiving workout, follow our expert tips to make your holiday dinner enjoyable, delicious, and healthy. Your waistline will be happy you did it!
The majority of people will have more than one serving of Thanksgiving items at the table, but always keep a mental tab that a fistful is equivalent to one serving. This mindful eating will save you a lot of “I can’t fit into my jeans” heartache later.
Eat your meal slowly, and really take the time to savor each bite, rather than inhaling everything on your plate. Remember that it takes 15-20 minutes for your brain to process you are full, so take your time! Portion control is also much easier if you use a smaller plate.
For a healthier option, skip the casserole part and just prepare the vegetables in a tasty and healthier sauce, like pesto. You can also roast your vegetables in a little bit of parmesan cheese for a delicious, low-cal treat.
To avoid exorbitant calories and fat grams, opt for the lighter meat and avoid the fat-laden skin.
Because sugar substitutes are chemically structured differently than sugar, your dessert might come out different than anticipated (depending on what you’re making). To avoid this, you can use ¾ real sugar and a ¼ sugar substitute, or just use less sugar, and further sweeten your desserts with cinnamon and vanilla instead.
Egg substitute also works very well for any recipes that require eggs, and the oil can oftentimes be replaced with yogurt, apple sauce, or low-fat sour cream. For sweeteners, try vanilla, cinnamon, or sugar substitutes, like Splenda or Equal.
Written by Nina Kim
Originally published on MonsterCollege.com