The dinner and dessert are obviously some of the most prominent aspects of Thanksgiving. Although meeting up with family and friends is always an enjoyable occasion, it's really the food that everyone focuses on - at least at dinner time! However, if you're watching your weight or sticking to a strict diet, Thanksgiving can be a tough time to deal with. You may be tempted to indulge (after all, it is only once a year), but is it really worth blowing all of your hard work? Luckily, there are ways to satisfy yourself without overindulging. Here are a few tips to help you do so.
1. Don't skimp on breakfast and lunch on the big day. Although you may think that it's a good idea to save up your calories for the big meal, it's actually better to have a small breakfast and lunch beforehand. You won't be starving by the time the turkey's put on the table, and therefore you won't be tempted to pile food onto your plate.
2. Alter your recipes. If possible, tweak your dishes a bit to save calories here and there. Use less oil and butter whenever you can, and try low-fat or fat-free additions like sour cream or yogurt to make dips and sauces. When it comes to dessert, buy a few sugar free treats.
3. Monitor your portions. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables, a fourth should be dedicated to protein, and the rest should be starches like mashed potatoes or corn. You may want to take a couple of bite-sized portions of everything, or just focus on the more traditional items that you don't have every day. For example, you may want to save your calories for the pumpkin pie or the cranberry sauce, not the mashed potatoes - you can have those any day of the week.
4. Take your time. It takes a while for your stomach to register that it's full, so eat slowly to give yourself time to process what you're eating. This will not only ensure that you don't eat too much, but you'll also get to enjoy the flavors of each dish that much more.
5. Get active. Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating with your loved ones, and it can be fun to engage in an activity together, like a game of football or even a walk after dinner. It gives you time to catch up on things without having to sit idly on the couch.
Don't forget that there are plenty of Thanksgiving food gifts that aren't all bad for you! Fruits, nuts and berries are just some of the tasty treats you can enjoy with your meal, so don't hesitate to bring a bunch for your family.