The family table is beautifully set, a succulent turkey cooked to perfection makes its long-anticipated debut at the center of the table, the  yams are candied and glistening, creamy mashed potatoes are garnished with savory gravy, and the rolls are glazed with warm butter; it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Thanksgiving dinner! This holiday season, we encourage our IPS families to enjoy family, fun and food while being be mindful of how many calories you are putting on your dinner plate. 

According to research from the Calorie Control Council , the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering from daytime snacking and then eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.

The average holiday dinner alone can carry a load of 3,000 calories. And it’s easy to nibble through another 1,500 calories, downing appetizers and drinks before and after the big meal. Combined, that’s the equivalent of more than 2 1/4 times the average daily calorie intake and almost 3 1/2 times the fat — with 45 percent of calories from fat! The average person may consume enough fat during a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.

Eachyear, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays, and keep the extra weight permanently.

But a holiday meal does not have to sabotage your physique. With a few healthy tips, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free holiday feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea, only if you are a turkey!

 

5 Helpful Tips to Prevent Overeating

Be active

Take a walk with your family before and after dinner. Eating less and exercising more is the anecdote to consuming fewer calories and maintaining your weight over the holidays. This activity will also provide time for families to enjoy being active together.

 

Eat Breakfast

Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast; such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk. This will ensure you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering, avoiding the impulse to pile extra food onto your plate.

 

Manage Portion Size

Use smaller plates and serving utensils. Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself. Try pouring beverages into tall, skinny, sophisticated glasses. Remember that less is truly more!

 

Cook From (and for) the Heart

To show family and friends that you really care about them, experiment with recipes that use less butter, cream, lard, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients rich in saturated fats and cholesterol.Use your heart, but also be smart – research your favorite chef’s healthier versions of your family’s all-time favorites in advance to ensure you don’t disappoint yourself and others by serving undesirable dishes on the yummiest day of the year.

 

Enjoy Your Loved Ones

Although food is an integral part of the holidays, put the focus on family and friends, laughter and cheer. Eat less and socialize more.

We want all of our IPS families to enjoy this holiday season in happiness and good health. Remember, just because the food is there doesn’t mean you have to overindulge! Invite a few more people over to avoid having an abundance of leftovers you’ll want to polish off. The more the merrier! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!