Holiday meals are a time to be grateful for family, friends, and all of the positive things in our lives.  In addition to gratefulness, big feasts can trigger feelings of guilt and physical fullness due to heaping servings of sweet, buttery, rich, high-calorie dishes. 

Folks around the Greater Tampa Bay area and across America can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast without the guilt.  As long as you are selective in your choices and moderate with your portion sizes, a modern-day holiday meal can be scrumptious and nutritious. Here are healthy diet-planning tips from the experts at Florida-based Weight Success Centers LLC.

Meal Planning for a Healthy Thanksgiving

  1. Enjoy a serving of turkey, which is an excellent source of lean protein.  To reduce calories, simply choose white breast meat and remove the skin. 
  2. Make smart substitutions. Lighten dishes by using skim milk in place of whole milk, substituting egg whites for whole eggs, and substituting applesauce for oils in baked goods.  Also, opt for lighter marinades or a dusting of exotic herbs, which have less fat than the creamy dishes.
  3. Try to fill your plate with colorful vegetables and fresh fruits that have not been coated with fatty sauces. Vitamin-rich butternut squash, green beans, and sweet potatoes are nutritious, but always remember portion control with creamy or buttery casseroles. 
  4. Be selective in your garnishes and dressings.  You could ruin a healthy plate by dousing it with fatty sauces, salt, or condiments.  
  5. Don’t feel obligated to get seconds — even if family members are pushing you to eat more.  Politely ask for a to-go container or offer to help clean, pack, and store leftovers. 
  6. Think moderation when it comes to dessert. Consider omitting the crust from pie to cut calories.
  7. While it is often tempting at social gatherings, you might want to cut back on alcohol consumption to avoid excess calories.  You may prefer to enjoy a sliver of homemade pie as opposed to the 125 calories in that 5-ounce glass of wine with your meal.
  8. Enjoy a walk outside, a game of touch football, or some other form of physical activity before and after the meal to burn off the extra calories.

We hope these tips help you enjoy a great Thanksgiving! The physicians and experts at Weight Success Centers are happy to provide more information about weight loss plans, healthy living, and medical solutions for maintaining good health. Contact us today to take your first step to better health! 

What are your favorite healthy holiday dishes? Join the conversation on Weight Success Centers’ social media sites and find more great tips to share with your friends and families.

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