Thanksgiving is synonymous with an abundance of food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie comprise a traditional menu.
Unfortunately, that one delicious meal can average 3,000 calories, with approximately 45% of calories from fat. Those numbers do not include appetizers and drinks.
Eating two to three times the calories of a normal meal causes the heart to pump more blood to the digestive system, putting pressure on the heart. Heart attacks, gallbladder pain and drowsiness, which can impair driving, are dangerous side effects of overeating.
To enjoy a holiday meal and avoid calorie overload, try the steps below.
- Choose only the foods you really love.
- Think small portions when filling your plate.
- Chew your food slowly, notice the taste and texture.
- Drink water or low-calorie beverages.
- Limit filling foods such as rolls and potatoes and select vegetables instead.
If you are the holiday chef, it is easy to add vegetables to the menu in the form of a dip. Even vegetable haters, like my brother, will eat my husband’s bean dip!
Fat Free Party Dip
1/4 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped green peppers
1 16 oz. can fat free refried beans
½ cup fat free sour cream
½ cup salsa
Mix refried beans, sour cream, and salsa in a serving bowl. Sprinkle onion and green pepper on top and serve with vegetable sticks or light crackers.
Do not spend the holidays worrying about your food choices. Enjoy the holidays by adding a few healthy habits to your regimen. Your body will thank you.