ShareThis Page
Health

Tips on how not to overdo it on Thanksgiving

Ben Schmitt
| Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, 12:57 p.m.
Elizabeth Dubovi, clinical nutrition coordinator at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
Submitted
Elizabeth Dubovi, clinical nutrition coordinator at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Most of us overdo it with turkey and trimmings on Thanksgiving. Nothing wrong with that.

But some revelers might seek avenues to eat healthier or push the plate away before filling up. Here are some tips for staying on track this holiday season from Elizabeth Dubovi, clinical nutrition coordinator at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Question: Can you name a few tips to avoid overconsumption during the holiday?

Answer: On Thanksgiving Day, don't drink your calories. While it is traditional to drink alcoholic beverages on the holiday, being mindful of the empty calories they contain is important. I recommend eliminating alcoholic beverages completely; however, limiting your consumption to one to two beverages can help to significantly reduce the calories you consume.

Additionally, don't sit near dessert trays — this often leads to mindless consumption of sugary, high calorie foods. Over the days following Thanksgiving, be smart with your leftovers and don't feel you need to eat everything at once. Eating traditional Thanksgiving dishes over several meals or days also can be enjoyable. Try eating turkey, stuffing and a salad for lunch and choose turkey, sweet potatoes and green beans at dinner.

Q: How should someone get their diet back on track after Thanksgiving?

A: To get back on track following Thanksgiving, I recommend eating like it's any regular day. Don't restrict your food intake the following day just because you over-indulged — this could easily lead to overeating once again. Additionally, drink plenty of water to help with digestion, and restart your typical exercise routine to burn extra calories you may have consumed.

Remember, the holidays only come around once every year and it's normal to get off track from a healthy eating plan. With a positive attitude and desire to get back on track, you will recover from your Thanksgiving feast.

Q: What are some suggestions for controlled eating this holiday season?

A: Be mindful. Mindful eating includes awareness of the entire process of consuming food. First, smell your food and, during the meal, chew slowly and take time to absorb the many flavors. By taking time to eat, you are preventing overeating. Portion control is also important to exercise. Using smaller plates can help to reduce the amount you eat.

It's helpful to start your meal with a salad and vegetables — the fiber will help fill you up and prevent overindulgence of the more high-calorie foods, like entrees and dessert. Always wait at least 10 minutes before going back for second helpings, as it can take 10 to15 minutes for your stomach to realize it is full. Finally, enjoy dessert! If portion control was managed during the first course, enjoying dessert in moderation is not a problem.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Bencschmitt.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me