How to Make Yourself a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate

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Whether you are following a specific diet or simply trying not to gain weight during the holiday season, Thanksgiving can be a stressful occasion. Thanksgiving is all about dinner, which can make it a challenging day to get through without putting away upwards of 1,200 calories in one sitting. Still, you can enjoy the holiday without regret when you follow the helpful tips below to keep your plate on the slimmer side.

Pack the plate with vegetables

The most iconic Thanksgiving foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pie. Each of these choices are calorie dense without much nutritional value, so the calories can stack up fast. To stop yourself from indulging in extra large portions of these favorite Thanksgiving foods, add more veggies to your plate before reaching for anything else. Green bean casserole, roasted carrots, and low-sugar cranberry sauce are all smart choices. If you’re doing the cooking, you can add even more nutrition by making leaner mashed potatoes with the addition of cauliflower and chicken broth (omitting cream and butter). You might also try simple roasted sweet potatoes instead of a sugary casserole.

Don’t fill up on bread

If you want to make an easy alteration to your plate, simply ditch the bread. Most often, bread is an afterthought on the Thanksgiving table, so it’s not an element that will shine, and it’s easy to skip, saving 100-200 calories, depending on the type of bread and the amount of butter that’s on it. If you must have bread on your plate to sop up the gravy, bring along whole grain dinner rolls for a more wholesome option.

Choose where you want to splurge

You don’t have to totally deprive yourself to have a healthy Thanksgiving; smaller portions can go a long way. Still, you might start the day with a game plan that will let you enjoy a full serving of your favorite Thanksgiving dish, whether it’s the stuffing, the potatoes, or the pie. Planning on a full serving of your favorite item can let you feel more comfortable staying away from large scoops or second helpings of other foods.

For more ideas on healthier holiday eating or exercise tips to help you work off that indulgent Thanksgiving dinner, check out the MeMD blog. You can also rely on MeMD for quick and affordable medical care from the convenience of your own home—even during the holidays.