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Make Yourself Thinner This Thanksgiving

Between the turkey and the sweets, the casseroles and the candies, is it possible to emerge from the holidays without having gained weight?

Norman Regional registered dietitian Christie Bruehl says it is possible to enjoy Thanksgiving and the holiday season without losing the battle of the bulge. Armed with a few simple tips, you can have a healthier, happier holiday.

Bruehl said not to think of the traditional Thanksgiving meal as an either/or situation.

“I try to remind people that the choice is not ‘Should I have this or not’ but instead ‘Whoa, how much should I have,’” Bruehl said.

Bruehl urges people to save room for those special things that only come around at Thanksgiving. Instead of depriving yourself of Grandma’s pecan pie, have a piece, but make it a smaller portion.

Save up those calories by avoiding menu items such as rolls, soda and other liquid calories. Choose more vegetable dishes and have a piece of skin-less, not fried, turkey, Bruehl said.

She also recommends using smaller plates to make portions seem larger. And resist the temptation to go back for seconds.

“Refrigerate leftovers then have them later at the next meal when you are hungry instead of having seconds,” Bruehl said.

You can also lighten-up traditional Thanksgiving menu items with these substitutions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter and/or cheese added into casseroles
  • Instead of frying, try baking, broiling or grilling, all of which are healthier options
  • Substitute egg whites for a whole egg
  • Try low-fat or fat-free milk or cheese products
  • Use Splenda instead of sugar in baked goods

Most importantly, remember from football to hay rides to visiting family, there is much to enjoy about Thanksgiving besides the food.

“Don’t forget to enjoy the calorie-free traditions of the holiday,” Bruehl said.

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Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144