• November 28, 2020

STONE: Thanksgiving tips for smaller hips - Odessa American: Levi Stone

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STONE: Thanksgiving tips for smaller hips

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Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 4:30 am

While 2020 has been a challenge to say the least, another challenge will be the elastic in your pants four days from now. Yes, Thanksgiving is almost here and considering the succulent turkey, perfectly seasoned dressing, creamy gravy, buttery potatoes, and parade of decadent desserts, before it’s all said and done, the average American consumes around 3,000 calories during a typical Thanksgiving feast.

To put that in perspective, most of us only require 2,000-2,500 calories per day, meaning we will gorge up to 150 percent of our daily caloric intake in this single setting alone. Afterward, we tend to migrate toward the couch, transfixed to the TV, drifting off into a carbohydrate, tryptophan induced slumber.

However, there are several ways to enjoy a holiday feast without missing out on all the traditional foods you’ve literally “grown” to love over the years. The keys to enjoying Turkey Day, without guilt, are dependent on careful planning, exhibiting a bit of moderation, and stepping up your activity.

Starting your day with a sensible breakfast can help tame your appetite later in the day. A balanced breakfast, emphasizing healthy protein and plenty of fiber, will help you feel more satisfied and less likely to binge during the big feast.

Get involved in the holiday meal selection by preparing your own dishes. Chances are you’re not the only one looking for healthier alternatives at the table. Making items with less fat and sugar can help you and other health conscious guests remain focused to stay the course.

Even though your dinner plate may be large, it doesn’t mean you should incorporate a “go big, or go home” mentality.

First, survey the food options available and strategize how these items should end up on your plate. Make a mental selection of the foods you really want, somewhat crave, and those that simply don’t interest you.

Having a game plan before you dive in will help avoid over-filling your plate, and thus saving yourself unnecessary calories. Challenge yourself to insure the largest portions on your plate are vegetables, preferably those that aren’t drenched in butter, creamed, or fried.

Next in line should be lean proteins, which for most families will likely include turkey. A standard portion should be approximately 4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards).The best route is to choose white over dark meat, without the skin. Six ounces of lean, white, skinless turkey yields about 160 calories per serving, opposed to 220 calories if you were to choose dark meat, with skin.

As you finish filling your plate, reserve those sweet and savory items (such as desserts, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, gravies, and dressing) as your smallest portions, since these typically yield the highest calories and fat per serving. Beverage selection is also an often missed opportunity to help reduce calories. Load up on water or unsweetened tea to avoid another 200-300 calories which is typical for a 16 ounce soda or sweet tea.

Football is synonymous with Thanksgiving and with three professional games and one college game on the schedule this year, it’s a safe bet your own television may be among the millions remaining on all day and evening long. It’s okay to catch a game or two, but use the breaks during halftime to sneak in 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as pickup game of backyard football, which can burn around 200 calories.

Even if you’re not a fan of football, incorporate physical activity into the mix by walking, cleaning the house before guests arrive, helping in meal preparation, or by volunteering to do the dishes so you can tilt the calorie table more in your favor. If anything, just get up and move around throughout the day and make every effort to stay active.

Fitting in periods of activity can expend more calories than just lying on the couch. We certainly have much to be thankful for, including an abundance of food; just leave the stuffing for the bird and not so much for your belly.

Odessa, TX

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