To many Americans, Thanksgiving dinner and overeating often go together. Between a juicy turkey, succulent sides dishes and, of course, an assortment of pies, it’s practically one’s patriotic duty to feast. The average American consumes over 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, more than double the recommended daily amount, according to the Calorie Control Council.
Thanksgiving can be challenging for those trying to lose or maintain weight. But there are ways to lighten the meal without losing flavor.
Begin with the day’s big star, the turkey. Trim calories by roasting the bird instead of deep-frying. At dinner, remove the skin before eating — that’s where the bad saturated fat hides.
Prepare stuffing with whole-wheat bread and replace turkey broth with vegetable broth. Dried fruit like cranberries add flavor without the calories and fat. Avoid sweet potatoes’ calories by nixing the sugar, marshmallows and butter. Instead, serve the potatoes baked.
Indulge in green bean casserole without guilt by swapping heavy cream for low-fat milk or yogurt and using fresh onions instead of fried. Make homemade cranberry sauce to eliminate added sugar. If necessary, sweeten with honey, maple syrup or apple juice.
Finally, bake your pie, and eat it, too. Traditional pie crust is loaded with butter, lard and shortening. Replace half the amount of butter with nonfat Greek yogurt. Go easy on sugar when mixing the filling, and make mini pies to manage portion size.
Using these tips will help you enjoy delicious food and time with friends and family on Thanksgiving without the added calories and guilt. Your scale will be thankful, too.