Seven Ways to Triumph Over Turkey Day

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seven Ways to Triumph Over Turkey Day
1. Turkey is actually a healthful, lean protein source. A turkey sandwich with low-fat mayo, lettuce, tomato and whole wheat bread alongside some baby carrots is a highly nutritious, diet-friendly lunch year-round. Dinnertime can also be a healthy way to use up those leftovers. Slices of turkey (sans skin and gravy) with whole grain rice and steamed veggies is a well-rounded meal that's automatically low in calories -- save room for a tiny slice of Mom's pumpkin pie!
2. If you don't know which dishes to avoid, think filling -- the ones you eat one serving of and think, "I couldn't eat another bite" (but often manage to anyway!). This includes casseroles like broccoli and cheese, potatoes au gratin, stuffing, and dressing. In this case, the more filling, the more fattening.
3. Don't "save up" your day's meals for "the big one" that night. You'll get too hungry and over-eat to compensate for those missing meals. Thanksgiving day should include a substantial, healthy breakfast and a normal size lunch. Then, when dinnertime arrives you won't be too famished to practice portion control.
4. If you're stuck with a choice between salsa and chips and chips and dip, always choose the salsa! It's naturally low-fat and chock full of veggies with vitamins. Baked tortilla chips are great for dipping, as are toasted pita slices or whole wheat crackers.
5. Don't fret about continuing to lose weight during the holidays. Resolve instead to maintain what you've already accomplished. In the end, staying right where you are on the scale is better than gaining ... so don't stress out over no net losses and celebrate a lack of gains!
6. Triptophan is a worthy adversary, but fight against the urge to nap the day away. By moving more than normal -- whether it be a game of touch football in the front yard or a marathon of shopping on Black Friday -- will help compensate for any little indulgences.
7. Make like a rabbit and nibble on some lettuce and carrots -- that is, help yourself to a tossed salad with low-fat dressing before the main meal. It will curb your appetite, provide you with extra nutrients, and give you something to munch while others are eating high-fat appetizers and party foods.