Fall break is less than ten days away. This is the first time that some Dukes are going home since they arrived for Frog Week this summer. This is the first time, for me at least that I’m going home. Home for me is in Northern New Jersey. Jersey means that there are warm, delicious bagels and any type of pizza that you can think of. With me going home for fall break means consuming all of these foods multiple days in a row. And I can’t forget that at the end of fall break is my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving brings me pumpkin pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes and most importantly, turkey. With all of these heavy, delicious foods, comes another thing to think about: calories.
This fall break I am going to try not to make all my early morning gym trips to UREC and eating healthy go to waste. Here are five tips that I have researched that will help you enjoy Thanksgiving without overindulging in the calories.
- Stick to healthy portions.
- Eat before you indulge.
- Substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones.
- Drink lots of water and take a walk after eating.
- Avoid snacking throughout the day.
Stick to healthy portions.
Do you really think you need more than one plate of all of that sodium filled food that is on the menu for Thanksgiving? Definitely not. I challenge you to only eat one serving of the mashed potatoes and dinner rolls and if you are still hungry after your first serving, go back and get some vegetables, like carrots, broccoli, beets, etc. Fill your first plate of food with a half a plate of vegetables and one roll, a quarter of it with mashed or sweet potatoes and a quarter of it with turkey or ham. Amanda Chan from livescience.com says, “If you fill up on those lower caloric density and higher nutrition things, you’re going to feel full, but not bloated and tired, because it’s a lighter fare.” So if you are still hungry after that first plate, then go back for vegetables to fill you up but not feel bloated. As for dessert, I know that my family always has at least five different pies on our table. Try and pick a fruit or pumpkin instead of chocolate or pecan. They tend to have fewer calories but you can still get a taste of Thanksgiving without the overload on sugar.
Eat before you indulge.
A lot of people think that not eating at all the day of Thanksgiving is saving room for the dinner feast. I know that my brothers and I have that mentality every year. In reality, you just end up overeating at dinner because you have been starving yourself all day. Try and eat a snack or breakfast on Thanksgiving so you don’t overeat at dinner.
Substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones.
If you have any say in how Thanksgiving dinner is cooked, maybe you can recommend some alternative ingredients to put into some of your favorite foods to cut out excess calories. For mashed potatoes substitute butter with chicken broth or roasted garlic. My Aunt Karen adds roasted garlic instead of butter and you can’t even tell the difference. It still tastes just as starchy. This next alternative can cut a lot of calories; you just need a little will power to resist it. Don’t eat the skin on the turkey. It is basically just pieces of fat.
Drink lots of water and take a walk after eating.
These are two tips in one that I do every year. According to the article by Amanda Chan, “Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll lower the risk of overeating.” The second tip is to take a walk after eating. After dinner and before dessert I take a walk with my aunt and her two dogs. We walk around the neighborhood in the crisp, fall weather and try to digest out food before eating a piece of pumpkin pie.
Avoid snacking throughout the day.
If you are trying to avoid overeating by having breakfast or one snack before dinner that is one thing, but constantly snacking on cheese and crackers or chips and dip before dinner contributes to overeating and not being able to keep track of how much you have eaten. Try to have one small meal or one snack in the late morning or early afternoon to hold you over until dinner. Avoid the mindless munching when you are conversing with your relatives.
I hope these 5 tips help you cut down on those excess calories over fall break. Remember, Halloween was the start of the holiday season and with every holiday comes delicious food with lots of calories. It is your choice if you want to make those trips to the gym count or if you want to eat it all away over break. The choice is yours fellow Dukes.
Peace, Love and DDP,