Next week marks the beginning of yet another holiday eating season. My kids used to refer to the traditional dinner at their grandma's house as "the feast." The word "feast" to me, conjures up images of fancy meals in castles. But certainly many of us do indulge in all the good food at the Thanksgiving Day dinner and it probably can be termed a feast.
Feasting is fun and it can certainly pile on the calories too. A couple of weeks ago I was one of the speakers at the Adult Community Center for Senior Fest. My topic that day was on how to "lighten up for the holidays." As we discussed on that day, now is the time to start becoming more self-aware of your eating habits and do some planning if your health goals include managing your weight, limiting the amount of fat in your diet, managing the number of carbohydrates you eat at a meal, etc.
If you check the calendar, you will see that there are almost 40 days between Thanksgiving and the first workday after New Year's Day. Circle the days that you will be entertaining, dining out or celebrating. Perhaps you have five to eight days circled. But that means you have lots of days not circled. That means you can have as many as 35 days when you can follow your normal routine, if you set your goals before the holidays start.
The first day you will probably have circled is Thanksgiving Day. How much do you plan to eat? Sometimes having an idea of how many calories are in each of the food you eat can help you cut back on the total amount that you actually do eat. For example, if a small roll with butter counts as 125 calories each, it may be in your plan to just skip the bread. Following are some estimates for the amount of calories that are in some typical Thanksgiving Day food choices. The actual calorie content depends on your actual recipe and, of course, your portion size. But you can use these numbers as a guide.
Even if you ate just the portion size listed above and chose prudently, you can see that it would still be easy to eat more than 1,000 calories at just this one meal. Let's face it, we are going to eat! Just use moderation. Enjoy the special time with family and friends. Remember it's just one meal - the feasting doesn't need to go on through the weekend! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. In addition to her column, you can also find nutrition tips and ideas on the blog she writes at www.averastorycenter.org.