The average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day alone, plus thousands more in leftovers in the days following the holiday. There is nothing wrong with a bit of indulgence over Thanksgiving, but what better way to celebrate than by helping your family have a healthy holiday that will leave them feeling energized and happy?
Here are three ways to lighten up your Thanksgiving this year without missing out on the traditions you and your family know and love:
A healthy dinner starts during the day
It’s easy to fill up on appetizers and snacks during the day, leaving little room for the big Thanksgiving dinner that has been lovingly prepared. Avoid daytime snacking by taking a walk or a jog with your family, or having lots of games or sporting equipment available for kids to play with. If you are preparing the appetizers for your family, swap heavy, caloric dips for lighter ones like hummus and salsa, and make sure there are plenty of veggies and fruit to snack on.
Take some extras out of your recipes
By reducing the butter in your mashed potatoes by just 4 tablespoons, you’ll reduce the fat in your recipe by 48 grams, and no one will even notice. Taking a smidge of fat and salt out of your recipes, little by little, will add up, keeping everyone healthier in the long run.
Place food strategically
It’s another minor detail that your guests may not even notice: place your salads and healthier, vegetable side dishes on the buffet table earlier in the line than the more caloric dishes. Your family will fill their plates with the earlier options first. This will help everyone keep their portions in control, and will shave hundreds of calories off of each plate with absolutely no sacrifice in taste or flavor.