Are you worried about the “holiday heavies” — that five to 10 pounds many people gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? It’s a time when healthy eating and exercise behaviors are put aside as easily as last year’s fruitcake.
To enjoy Thanksgiving and the holidays headed our way during this annual season, remember the key is moderation, not deprivation.
It doesn’t have to happen again this year. Not according to Lisa Talamini, RD — chief nutritionist and program director for Jenny Craig, Inc.
“The key is moderation, not deprivation,” says Talamini. “There’s no need to pass up your grandmother’s apple pie, or dressing with your turkey. Just take small servings, and balance out higher-fat choices with nonfat dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Here are Talamini’s top 10 strategies for staying on track this holiday season:
• Make your home “safe” by keeping fattening goodies out of sight and donating unwanted food items to charity.
• Lighten up your eggnog by mixing equal portions of half and half with nonfat milk, and flavoring it with rum extract.
• Use smaller plates. It’ll seem like you’re enjoying a lot more food.
• Fill half of your plate with vegetables and salad; a quarter with mashed potatoes or yams; and a quarter with meat.
• Use visual cues for portion control: six ounces of turkey (the size of two decks of cards), one-half cup of stuffing (small fist), and two tablespoons of gravy or cranberry relish (nail polish bottle).
• Dip your fork into a small cup of fat-free salad dressing, and “drizzle and drip” onto your salad.
• Roast your turkey without the stuffing, breast side down, to keep it moist and allow the fat to run off. For a browned top, turn your turkey right side up for the last half hour.
• Bake dressing alongside your turkey-instead of inside, where it will absorb additional fat. Cook the dressing slowly in the oven, and replace most of the butter or oil with chicken stock and wine.
• Instead of drippings, giblets and whole milk in your gravy, try fat-free broth, mushrooms and skim milk.
• When preparing desserts, substitute two egg whites for every whole egg; applesauce for the shortening or butter in boxed mixes; nonfat yogurt for sour cream; minichocolate chips for regular ones (and reduce the amount by half); and graham cracker, chocolate wafer or gingersnap pie crusts for shortening-based crusts.