Secrets for Healthier Holiday Feasting

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

On Thanksgiving eat the turkey, but skip the skin.Tomorrow in households all across the country, people will be lounging in their armchairs watching football while turkeys roast in the oven. Yet Thanksgiving is more than just one meal—it’s the start of an entire holiday season filled with food, fellowship…and more food!

"Holiday feasting" is as human as wearing shoes. But so are heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and the terrible discomfort of engorgement. Here are seven tips for keeping your waistline and health intact, without sacrificing your holiday cheer:

1. Eat the turkey, but skip the skin. A 3-ounce serving of turkey contains 6 grams of fat. The same serving size without the skin has only 1 gram.

2. Remember, feasting is as much fellowship as food. We gather to enjoy each other's company, so focus on the conversation as much as you do the meal.

3. Keep your portions reasonable. You don't have to eat half the turkey; no one will be offended if you don't. Load your plate to where you can always see some plate between the items.

4. Embrace the salads, sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. Crowd your plate with them, leaving little room for the higher-fat items.

5. Put down your fork between bites, slow down, and focus on how each food tastes. In other words, enjoy your meal.

6. Drink plenty of fluids. You'll be taking in a lot of nutrients, including protein, and washing these out takes lots of water. (Beer and wine don't count.)

7. Gather up your family and friends and organize a post meal walk. Exercise boosts your metabolism and helps clear glucose from your bloodstream, improving control for those with diabetes.

Now it’s your turn: How do you avoid overdoing it during the holiday season?

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10 Secrets that Make Healthy Eating Easy

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