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Lesson 2: The Thanksgiving MyPlate

Lets try to prevent this from happening!

You might be thinking….”Thanksgiving is only one day a year and there is no way I am not going to indulge in my favorite dishes. Come on, it is inevitable that I will not overeat. I have anticipated that I will eat more calories than a normal day. What will one day without portion control do to my figure. I will just go on a diet the rest of the week.”

Yes, you will probably eat more than your usual dinner, but that doesn’t mean you should eat until your pant buttons pop and feel the need to diet the rest of the week.

So what should you do to not overeat on Thanksgiving?!?!

1) Do not skip breakfast and lunch. You might want to have smaller meals than usual, but you don’t want to arrive to dinner starving from not eating all day. If you sustain your daily eating routine, you will more likely eat a normal size meal at dinner.

2) Go into your Thanksgiving meal with the goal of sticking to one plate of food and a serving of dessert. This goal will help you control your portions, which will ultimately prevent you from overeating and stuffing yourself until you can’t breathe without your belly hurting.To make it easier for you to meet this goal, I recommend that you keep a mental image of the MyPlate as you scoop food onto your plate.

We all love turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and warm rolls, but don’t forget half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables!!!! Create a plate with a variety of color and texture to meet all of your nutrients and keep you visually and orally satisfied! This is the perfect time to practice assembling the MyPlate!

Thanksgiving Specific Tips for the MyPlate Food Groups

PROTEIN: Unless you are a vegetarian, everyone will enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving! Have a palm size (about 3 oz) serving of turkey with a drizzle of gravy to taste. There is no need to have gravy soup with pieces of turkey! 

GRAINS/STARCHY VEGETABLES: The stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole fit into this group. If you want to have all of these items on your plate, take a small spoonful of each to fit on that 1/4 of your plate. Eat less of the foods that are served all year around, such as potatoes, and eat more of the foods that you only eat on this special holiday.

VEGETABLES: The green bean casserole, brussels sprouts, salad (light on the dressing), winter squash, and soups are often the vegetable dishes served on Thanksgiving. Even though the green bean casserole contains a green vegetable, the creme/butter/breadcrumbs can easily get you in trouble and stack up the calories! If this is the case, take a small serving and take larger servings of the healthier vegetable options. If you need to go back to seconds, fill yourself up with salad and the low-fat vegetable options since they are the lower calorie dishes to choose from or just save room for dessert! 

FRUIT: I have found that there is not many fruit options at Thanksgiving dinner that don’t include large amounts of sugar such as the pre-made cranberry sauces. Whole fruit is the best choice in this category with whole cranberry sauce and fresh fruit salad as your options. Also, if you want more vegetables on your plate, it is totally fine to have a larger vegetable section and a smaller fruit section than is shown on the MyPlate image. 

DIARY: I am sure you will get your dairy from the dairy based dishes and desserts (cheese, cream, milk, etc.). Therefore, there is no need to make sure you are eating an extra serving of dairy at this meal. Don’t forget your dark leafy green salad and broccoli are sources of calcium too!

Remember: You know you will be eating Thanksgiving leftovers for multiple days so don’t eat all the turkey and mashed potatoes in sight and get sick of this meal after one day. You know will be having turkey and cranberry sandwiches for  lunch and turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner for few days! EAT SLOWLY…sit next to someone you want to catch up to prevent eating too fast! And don’t forget to drink your fluids too…Gobble gobble water!

Send me a picture of your Thanksgiving MyPlate and I will feature it on my blog next week!

It would be interesting to see the variety of Thanksgiving meals all over the world assembled like the MyPlate!

What do you think Lesson 3 will be about?!??!?

I saved the best lesson for last!

Click here if you missed Lesson 1