By By Lorena Kaplen H-E-B Dietitian, RD, LD
With 38 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, if you eat an extra 500 calories per day you can gain 5 pounds! Trying to lose weight during the holidays may be a self-defeating goal, but a more realistic expectation would be to strive to maintain and don't gain. Here are some tips to help slim down in calories, not taste.
- Turkey: Add flavor and moisture to your bird by stuffing it with fruits, vegetables and herbs. Try apples, onions, celery, sage, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram.
- Dress Don't Stuff: Cooking dressing separate from the turkey will cut down on the fat that is released from the skin of the turkey and also ensure that it is cooked evenly.
- Pass on Gravy: One-quarter cup of traditional gravy can easily add 100 calories with 7 grams of fat to your meal. To reduce the amount of calories and fat use a low sodium broth instead of turkey drippings in your gravy.
- Slimmed Sides: Ingredients like butter and sugar should only be used to enhance flavors so any side dish can still be fabulous and slimmed by reducing the amount used.
- Love Veggies: Don't mask the taste of vegetables by adding creamy sauces and butter. Instead, use herbs and spices to enhance their flavor.
- Pie Please: Pumpkin is a great dessert choice because it's usually lower in sugar and fat than other pies. Most calories in pumpkin pie come from the crust so substitute your homemade pumpkin pie crust with a graham cracker crust by using half the amount of butter.
- Get Moving: Make it a family tradition to include physical activity on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the fall weather and play tag football, horseshoes, or simply take a walk. Not only will physical activity help burn some of those calories, it will also combat that after Thanksgiving meal drowsiness.
While you're here, don't miss out on the full H-E-B guide to Thanksgiving cooking and party planning