Ahhh Thanksgiving.....The holiday of food, food and more food. This holiday can start the downward slope to increased calorie-laden food intake and decreased physical activity from now until after the new year. Here is some food for thought:

  • The average person consumes 3000 calories at a Thanksgiving meal. This does not include any appetizers, snacks or additional meals throughout the day (if you have multiple places to go on Thanksgiving, most likely you will consume 2 meals, or that tasty turkey sandwich later that evening....) so add those onto to the total: 6000-7000 calories in one day. This is equivalent to 1 pound of weight gain.
  • The average person eats more than 200 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day. The average daily intake should be less than 65 grams a day.
  • The average person gains 7-10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year's.

Here are some easy and simple ways to change the way you look at the holidays:

  • Eat breakfast! Have breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. It will actually help reduce the amount of calories you consume the rest of the day. Go for higher protein choices, like eggs. The protein helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Think lower fat products - Light butter (Land-O-Lakes has a great tasting one!), skim milk in your mashed potatoes, fat-free evaporated milk for pies, light whipped topping.
  • 0% fat plain Greek Yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream. It is thick and creamy and works great for dips. Mix 16 ounces with 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix, let set overnight. Delicious!
  • Replace regular white flour with whole wheat flour. You can also do 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat. The wheat flour decreases spikes in your blood sugars and is great for those watching their weight or for those that are diabetic.
  • Don't drink your calories! If you plan on having extra calories, get them from food, not from beverages. Have a pitcher of iced water with cucumber slices in it ready for your dinner guests.
  • Take a 5-10 minute walk, every time you eat something during the holidays. It's a great thing to do with your family and friends, it helps digestion and also helps rev up your metabolism to help burn off a little of that pumpkin pie! Every step counts.

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all! Enjoy the day and always remember it's the little things that make a difference!