Just because you want to enjoy yourself over the holidays, it doesn’t mean you need to gain weight as a result. Knowing certain strategies can make all the difference in keeping your calories under control. For instance, by recognizing that there are certain fattening Thanksgiving sides that you can avoid (or at least taste in tiny amounts), you can make a big difference in the impact of this holiday on your waistline.
Get to know the most fattening Thanksgiving sides before the holiday rolls around. In this way, you’ll be prepared to make the right choices regarding what you will or will not eat. You’ll also be able to decide how much of each dish you’ll be adding to your plate. A few careful selections can cut hundreds upon hundreds off the final total of the meal.
With a dinner that is made up primarily of fattening Thanksgiving sides, knowing which ones are your friends and which are your enemies will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
· The root veggies – sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, beets and turnips are all highly nutritious foods. At the same time, they’re not typically served boiled and plain. If they were eaten on their own, they’d be among the best dishes on the table. However, they’re usually combined into mashes and casseroles with creams, gravies, bacon, and cheeses that can easily make these healthful veggie sides 400 or 500 calories per serving.
· Gravy – when gravy is made from scratch, it’s typically made with turkey drippings. While this can taste amazing, it does mean that you’re pouring the fattiest part of the turkey right back onto it after it had already dripped off. When you add it to your turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, this can pack on even more calories. You may not want to skip out on gravy completely, but consider using it as sparingly as possible to save yourself hundreds of unnecessary additional calories.
· Cranberry sauce – that’s right. This seemingly innocent side dish can also be very fattening. Why? Because it’s packed with sugar. If you make it yourself, you’ll see exactly how much sugar goes into making this side. However, if you buy it pre-made, you’ll need to read the ingredients to see all the preservatives, sugars and high fructose corn syrup that is poured into each can.
Even after making smarter choices, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy your meal and the people sharing your table. After all, it’s time to be grateful for friends, family, and the fact that you have so much food in front of you that you have the choice of what you’d like to eat and how much. Those are definitely things to be thankful for.