There is absolutely no way that I am going to post about how to make “diet” Thanksgiving dishes this holiday. In my family, “lighter” versions of holiday favorites just will not cut it. In fact, I am almost certain that it will cause some serious anger. For instance, my mother is famous for her sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving. Everyone cannot wait to have it. She’s even gotten to where she makes extra to ensure that everyone gets a second serving when we go back to my mammaw’s for leftovers later. So imagine if my mother decided to bring sugar-free sweet potato casserole this year… or even worse, leave the marshmallows off the top. Everyone would FREAK. I like to pretend that everyone else’s family is like mine, therefore I refuse to even waste my time coming up with healthy, low-fat, sugar free, low- carb Thanksgiving dishes that NO ONE will use…. and even if they will use it, the rest of their family will shun them when they show up with it on Thanksgiving Day.
If you are one of the few on this planet who can lose weight over the holidays, you are my superhero. But as I have expressed before, there is absolutely no way that I am going to go without the foods I love, especially during my favorite time of the year. So, let’s just be realistic for Turkey Day, and the holiday season in general, by enjoying our time with family (and delicious food) and aiming to maintain our weight for the rest of year.
Try using some of these weight maintenance tips during the family festivities this year.
- Aim to fill half your plate with veggies. Vegetables are filling and are likely to have fewer calories than many of the other food items on the table.
- Avoid putting a helping of EVERY casserole on your plate. Casseroles can really get you with the hidden fat, sugar, and sodium. If you do get a casserole helping, just watch the portions. I am totally down with consuming the overly buttered corn casserole on Thanksgiving, but an entire cup’s worth is not necessary to satisfy that craving.
- Eat breakfast. Do not starve yourself up until Thanksgiving dinner, because then you are more likely to binge on everything you see… and we all know how that regret will feel later….
- Eat slowly. Enjoy every bite so that you will feel more satisfied. This is something I am absolutely horrible at. If you watched me eat, you’d think that my food was about to run away from me. I am going to aim to do better this Thanksgiving…
- Save calories on the foods that you can eat year round. This one is something I practice regularly. There is absolutely no way that I am going to waste 100 of my calories on a roll that I can make in my kitchen everyday of the year. If your family has a few of those “typical” dishes that aren’t anything to get excited about, just skip them on Thanksgiving!
- Drink lots of water. This will help prevent you from overeating.
- Take a walk. As much as we just want to lay on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner, I always try to get Jess to take a walk with me. It makes me feel so much better afterward and it gets my metabolism going instead of just letting the food sit on my belly.
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t try to sneak some healthier options into your holiday recipes this year. There are some great alternatives out there that reduce calories and fat and you’d never know the difference (I may try one or two on my family this year). I am just saying don’t try to take it too far and have a disgusting holiday season. By practicing some of the practical tips I’ve provided above, you should be ok eating traditional holiday recipes without all the substitutions. The holiday season is a time to celebrate and enjoy each other. Indulge a little and be thankful that you can make up for those extra calories at the gym tomorrow. 😉