Rethink the classic menu
Planning for a Thanksgiving meal feels like a no-brainer. Start with a turkey, add some gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and a pumpkin pie. Focus solely on these traditional staples, however, you may also be facing some weight-loss heartbreak, if not some heartburn. Mix it up! Who says your meal has to look like this? Build a meal from foods you feel good about both cooking and eating. Remember that the holiday originated from the desire to express thanks for the good things in life, not from the desire to eat from a designated menu.
Substitute without sacrificing
Love the classics? No problem. You can still enjoy a healthier version of the traditional meal by making smart, low-calorie substitutions. We love this guide compiled by the Mayo Clinic. You may have heard about using applesauce to replace butter, shortening or oil in recipes, but you may not have heard about other swap-outs, like using blended low-fat cottage cheese instead of cream cheese. Find a sensible alternative to your favorite food in this list, and experiment your way to a guilt-free Thanksgiving.
Consider your plate size
Did you know there’s an entire movement dedicated to using smaller plates? Americans’ plates have grown throughout time, and so have our waists. Reset the ever-expanding plate trend on the one holiday where food is the focus. By using a smaller plate, you’ll be forced to take smaller portions, even if you heap on the food. Repeat to yourself: a smaller plate keeps off the weight.
Here are some great sites to explore while preparing your feast: