Yikes! Thanksgiving is less than a week away and Christmas right on it’s tail. It’s a really hard time to be watching our weight. But it shouldn’t be that scary really. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person only gains 1 pound over the holidays. (Heck I can gain one pound a week without really even knowing why. But if the New England Journal of Medicine says that, then it must be so.)
I think the real damage, at least for me, comes from feeling like I really overdid it on Thanksgiving Day, and it’s all going to be downhill from here until Christmas anyway, so why bother. ‘I’ll get back on track the first of the year,’ has been my mantra for enjoying the holidays for too many years.
But the pie stops here! In addition to avoiding excessive sugar, this year I put together some dinner survival tips for myself, and hopefully you’ll find some of them helpful too:
- Turkey, turkey, turkey! I’m not a meat lover, but turkey breast is a the best when it comes to filling up on Thanksgiving.
- Gravy, please! Depending on how it’s made, gravy can really cut the dryness of the turkey breast for not a lot of calories. Just 1/4 cup of McCormick Turkey Gravy has only 20 calories. Of course if your grandma makes it from scratch using the pan drippings, we can just forget that!
- Veggies, for sure! Often they’re coated with butter, but they’re still a better choice than a sweet potato casserole that’s loaded with cream and sugar too.
- Portion control. Especially if you’re going to go for the more caloric sides.
- Eat slowly. My husband says I eat like someone is going to take my food away. I really need to practice this one this year.
- Use the phrase ‘maybe later’ rather than ‘no thank you.’ That way you’re not insulting anyone or the food they worked so hard to prepare. Hopefully you’ll both forget about it!
- Wait awhile before getting seconds. Save the seconds and have a nice leftover lunch the next day.
- Know your cooks. Like I said about the gravy, things can be super calorie laden, or on the healthier side. A store-bought pumpkin pie has a measurable amount of calories compared to a homemade chocolate cream pie.
- Know yourself. For me, if I start on Cranberry Christmas Cake (I saw it on Pinterest, drooled and kept on scrolling), I’m doomed. Whereas one piece of pumpkin pie probably won’t have the same effect on me, even with a little sugar in it. Thank about your food weaknesses and think about how best to handle them.
- Cook at least one dish to take if you’re not celebrating at your house. One year while on Weight Watchers I made Roasted Vegetables With Balsamic Vinegar thinking that I would be the only one to eat it. Everyone gobbled it up and said how refreshing it was to have something light to go along with our meal. It soon became a tradition.
- Try to get in at least a little bit of exercise. Going for an after dinner walk is a great way to do that. I hope to get in a 20 minutes workout on my recumbent bike. Even 5 minutes can set the tone for a healthier holiday.
- Enjoy the day apart from the food. It’s a day off work (for most of us). You get to gather with loved ones. And even if you’re you’re like me and doing most of the cooking, be grateful for the abundance in our lives.
And lastly I just want to take this time to wish everyone reading this a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year and all other holidays!
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