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Greek Yogurt with Red Wine-Infused Dates, Toasted Walnuts & Honey
Saved 10/14/09 to Kitchen Goddess

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving!


Written by Gloria Tsang, RD


Do you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories? It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.


  • Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at dinner time.


  • Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly and stop when you are full.


  • Turkey - go skinless: choose your 4-oz turkey portion skinless to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Save your appetite for the side dishes and desserts.


  • Side Dishes - watch your portion size: go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.


  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: high fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal . For instance, mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk; green bean casseroles are often prepared with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions; candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in to a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.


  • Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink calorie-free water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

If you are the honorable chef of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ingredients. Learn about the five easy steps for recipe substitutions below.


  • Leftover Turkey? Instead of turkey sandwiches, use the leftover turkey to make a pot of soup with fresh chunky vegetables.


  • Experiment with new recipes: we did a search on Google and found numerous delicious yet healthy low-fat contemporary Thanksgiving recipes. Experiment!


Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Substitution Tips

Recipe calls for... Substitution

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

sour cream

low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream


skim or 1% milk

ice cream

frozen yogurt

heavy cream (not for whipping)

1:1 ratio of flour whisked into non fat milk (e.g. 1 cup of flour + 1 cup of non fat milk)

whipped cream

chilled evaporated skim milk or other low fat whipped products such as Nutriwhip

cheese low-fat cheese (please note: non-fat cheese does not melt well if use in cooking or baking)
butter light butter

cream of mushroom

fat-free cream of mushroom


karmasabitch karmasabitch 6 years 32 weeks
I definitely need these tips. I am going to make sure to eat a healthy breakfast & lunch before dins on Thanksgiving (not something I normally do!) and limit my starches & fats. I am sooooo nervous about going through Thanksgiving & Xmas & trying to watch my waist line!!!
blondeyy blondeyy 6 years 32 weeks
You are so very welcome!
Iveenia Iveenia 6 years 32 weeks
you know - my life is also in a stupid condition :) no job (regular) for more than 2 years and and and... - sure - all is abt to change - to the best :) i believe so - because the MOST important is to believe in ourselves - and i am not allowed to leave the country - because i live on social security :) but this is SO LOVELY :HEART: thank you :HUG: to you as well
blondeyy blondeyy 6 years 32 weeks
Oh Ivee! I have no one for Thanksgiving (well David) - as remember about my family? Anyway, my one wish this Holiday season would be to send you a plane ticket to come - even if it was just for Thanksgiving Dinner! :hug:
Iveenia Iveenia 6 years 32 weeks
:) Thank you Blondeyy - i really wished to once in my life be part of a Thanksgiving dinner :) :HUG: