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Publication: Diet Buddy
Avoiding Thanksgiving Weight Gain!

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, November 20, 2006

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Avoiding Thanksgiving Weight Gain!

Hi There Buddies!

The party season has arrived and it's the time of year we 
look foward to family gatherings, celebrations and holiday 
parties...starting with Thanksgiving and all it's tempting 
foods, including dressing, pumpkin pie, sweet potato 
casserole, and desserts to die for...yummy!

Of course the next day when we even dare to step on the 
scale we're not too thrilled with the extra pounds that 
we seem to have accumulated.  I know we try to avoid 
certain foods that aren't healthy for us all year, but 
let's face it, Thanksgiving comes around ONCE a year and 
we would like to indulge...just a little.

Food is an important part of many gatherings especially 
the holidays, when we often tend to overlook what it is 
we're eating, until January, when the "diet" season starts.  
So, this year let's get a head jump on everyone's diet 
resolutions and keep "Thanksgiving" calories to a minimum 
with some helpful tips from Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD 
director of nutrition for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic.

"Thanksgiving is the offical start of the holiday season, 
and restrictive diets can make this time of year grueling, 
but with a few simple changes to your usual approach, you 
can enjoy the feast without wrapping yourself in those 
extra pounds," says Kathleen.

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Preparing for the Big Day! (If you are a guest) 

*  Wear a tight-fitting outfit.  This will make you less 
   likely to overeat because it becomes too uncomfortable.

*  Don't arrive starving.  Eat before the big feast.  A 
   small healthful meal with lots of fiber (oatmeal, whole-
   grain sandwich, salad with beans) keeps you feeling full 
   until dinner.

*  Make time for exercise every day, especially on 
   Thanksgiving Day.

*  Establish some ground rules in advance of the meal that 
   allow you to indulge but not pig out - for example, only 
   one sliver of dessert.

*  Buddy up with someone who is also trying to keep his or 
   her weight in check.

*  Keep a food journal and write down everything that you 
   eat.  This is an incredibly powerful tool, especailly 
   when you are tempted to overeat.

*  Start a new family tradition.  Take a bike ride, go for 
   a hike, or play tennis Thanksgiving morning (depending 
   where you live).

Ready, Set, Go!

*  Enjoy higher-calorie foods in smaller portions.

*  Don't eat food just because it is there.  Save your 
   calories for the foods you love.

*  Distance yourself from the hors d'oeuvre table.

*  Munch on fresh fruits and veggies instead of high fat 

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When the Feast Arrives!

*  Scan the buffet and carefully choose the foods you love.  
   If they are high in calories like the gravy, just take 
   a smaller portion.  Take larger portions of the simply 
   prepared foods such as baked sweet potatoes, steamed 
   vegetables, and skinless white meat of turkey.

*  Limit yourself to one plate of food, no second helpings.

*  Eat slower and savor every bite.  Give the food a chance 
   to let you feel the satisfying feeling of fullness.

*  Eat what you like, just eat a little less of it.

Desserts, Desserts, and More Desserts!

*  Enjoy a small serving of dessert, choose pumpkin over 
   pecan pie and save a few hundred calories.  Eat just 
   the filling to take in fewer calories and limit trans 

*  If you drink alcohol, save those calories for a glass 
   of wine with the meal.

*  Skip the high-calorie, high-fat eggnog this year.

When You're Done!

*  At the end of the meal, drink a glass of water and push 
   away from the table to help you realize that you are 

*  Follow the large meal with a leisurely walk.

Be realistic - don't try to lose weight during the holidays, 
just aim to maintain your current weight.  And if you plan 
on overindulging, bank some calories early in the week and 
get more physical activity before and after Thanksgiving 
Day to make up for it.


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Healthy Holiday Foods! by Gloria Tsang R.D.

-  Pumpkin - Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and also provides 
   fiber.  Pumpkin seeds are high in polyunsaturated and 
   monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fats).  Pumpkin 
   itself is quite low in calories - pumpkin pie becomes a 
   high-calorie food only because it's often added with 
   eggs, sugar, evaporated milk and baked in a high-fat pie 
   crust.  To make a lower-fat pumpkin pie you may consider 
   using an egg substitute, light cream or low-fat 
   evaporated milk in your recipe.  Go for a pie crust with 
   the lowest amount of trans fat possible.  Better yet, 
   try a home-made pie crust recipe that is not made with 

-  Cranberries - Cranberries are packed with vitamin C and 
   also provide a fair amount of dietary fiber and 
   manganese.  Cranberries also contain proanthocyanidins, 
   a type pf antioxidant which can prevent the adhesion of 
   bacteria to the urinary tract sometimes causing urinary 
   tract infections.

-  Sweet Potato - Sweet Potato is a rich source of 
   antioxidants such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene.  
   Similar to banana, it is also an excellent source of 
   potassium.  If you eat the skin, you will also reap the 
   health benefits of fiber.

-  Turkey - In addition to being an excellent source of 
   protein, turkey offers the least amount of fat per 
   serving, among all other meats, if you pass the skin.

-  Green Beans - Green beans are probably one of the most 
   healthiest foods out there.  They are an excellent 
   source of vitamin C, vitamin K (important in bone health) 
   and manganese.  Also they contain a good amount of 
   Vitamin A, a dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron.  
   Green bean casserole in a traditional Thanksgiving meal 
   is rather high in calories as it contains butter, cream 
   of mushroom and cheese.  Prepare this dish with lower-fat 
   versions of these ingredients such as fat-free cream of 
   mushroom and light butter and you will be able to enjoy 
   the yummy taste without the guilt!

Did You Know ???

That a typical Thanksgiving meal contains more than 2,500 
calories and 130 grams of fat?  That's equivalent to five 
Big Mac's or 14 brownies.  People who visualize what they 
will select at a holiday buffet table end up eating fewer 
calories. A mental dress rehearsal can help you make better 
choices because you have already practiced it.

Getting discouraged with your weight loss progress?  Stop
by our Diet Buddy Forum and share your concerns at...

Have a SAFE and HAPPY Holiday everyone !!!

Disclaimer:  Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

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