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TIP OF THE DAY: How Not To Overeat On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner has some favorite foods that we only have once a year. The temptation is to have your fill on this special occasion.

However, no one gives thanks for the opportunity to overeat. Here’s how to avoid stuffing yourself while still enjoying a great holiday meal:

  • Avoid finger foods, which tend to be the highest in calories and fat. Stick to raw vegetables. We find that one way to avoid the hors d’oeuvre is to chat with everyone there instead of obsessing about the food. Besides, eating the hors d’oeuvre fills you up for the main event.
  • Stick to wine, sparkling water or other judicious choice during cocktail hour. Mulled wine, toddies and other tempting choices may be loaded with sugar.

    Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell.


  • Don’t eat the turkey skin. While most advice suggests white meat over dark meat, if you eat the skin on one but not on the other, and add cholesterol- and carb-laden gravy to moisten the white meat, the difference washes out (see the chart below).
  • Have a roasted sweet potato (no butter—the potato doesn’t need it) instead of candied yams.
  • Eat all the vegetables. Lay off the heavy sauces and salad dressings. Eat seconds of vegetables and salad before having any other seconds.
  • Avoid the bread basket. If you love biscuits, cornbread, etc., you probably just can’t have just one piece. Pass them by and treat yourself to a biscuit or some corn bread on another day of the year that doesn’t include a huge holiday meal.
  • Have a small piece of pie. By the time dessert comes, you may only have room for a small piece, anyway. Skip the whipped cream or ice cream.

    Per 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) portion:

    Image courtesy University Of Illinois.

    Now that we’ve given our “public service announcement,” have a great holiday and enjoy a spoonful of anything—just don’t pile it onto your plate.


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