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Ways To Cut Calories On Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011, 6:12 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Ways To Cut Calories On Thanksgiving
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The average American will eat around 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. That's more than double the daily amount a person should eat.

If you're watching your waistline, you don't have to skip your Turkey Day favorites, but you should watch portion sizes.

People often focus in on food during Thanksgiving, but if you're focusing on your diet, Thanksgiving can be a tough time.

"There's so much around, and it's the one time of year we get the food, so we think, 'I'm going to pile my plate as high as I can,'" Sanford Dietician Teresa Beach said.

But you don't have to eat just vegetables this Thanksgiving. Beach says the main thing is to watch portion sizes.

"These would be some recommended portion sizes. This would be three ounces of turkey, half a cup of mashed potatoes, half a cup of sweet potato, half a cup of green beans, a bun, and this would be your size of pie-just a small piece," Beach said.

But Beach says people often don't eat the recommended portion sizes, especially on Thanksgiving.

"This unfortunately is how big the mashed potatoes usually look. That's one cup, and we don't even have gravy with that," Beach said.

Along with portion sizes, you should also watch the size of plate you're eating on. Beach recommends using a nine-inch plate, instead of 12.

"Part of it is a mind game, and we want to fill up our plates, so if we have a smaller plate, we're less likely to eat as much," Beach said.

Such tips can help you lead not only a happy, but also a healthy holiday.

"Some people may gain some weight from that one meal. Some people may not. It depends what their other lifestyle habits are like and how much they eat on the other days," Beach said.

Beach says you can also cut calories by cutting the skin off your turkey, leaving marshmallows off sweet potatoes and preparing mashed potatoes with skim milk instead of whole milk.

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