Thanksgiving Day doesn’t have to ruin a healthy diet

Family at the dinner table at the Thanksgiving day.
Happy extended family having family lunch on a Thanksgiving day. (Courtesy of


Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and as much food as can be physically stuffed onto a dinner plate.

American society is normally obsessed with food, but Thanksgiving Day definitely takes the cake for “the day that revolves around dinner.”

But just because Thanksgiving involves a huge dinner, does not mean that your dinner has to be fat filled.

Here are a few simple times to make this year’s Thanksgiving Day one that won’t ruin your waistline.

Turkey Trot

Local communities everywhere are embracing a tradition of early morning Thanksgiving runs and races.

Don’t be afraid of missing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, because most races finish before Santa and his reindeer enter Macy’s Herald Square.

This year Dallas is hosting its’ 46th annual One Bank Dallas Turkey Trot run. It starts at 9 a.m. at City Hall Plaza downtown.

Runners can choose to enter a 5k run/walk or an 8-mile race.

This is a great way to get off the couch and enjoy Dallas’ amazing weather.

Running can also help reduce the stress that usually accompanies family holidays.

Important Meal of the Day

Most people view dinner as the most important meal on Thanksgiving Day, but it is crucial to not forget about eating a healthy breakfast.

Saving up calories, and stomach space, might make your appetite soar out of control when you finally make it dinner.

By eating a small breakfast, the body won’t be starving come dinnertime.

Breakfast can include egg whites and whole-grain toast, or a bowl of low-fat cereal with cold milk and a favorite breakfast beverage.

Cooking the Turkey

A whole turkey can be daunting to first-time Thanksgiving chefs. If you are worried about ruining the family dinner by messing up the turkey, buying and cooking just the turkey breast might be a solution.

The breast meat has less calories than its’ darker brother. Also, just cooking the turkey breast will cut down on cooking time.

But if the family cannot celebrate Thanksgiving without a whole bird, stay away from higher fat self-basting turkeys.

It also goes without saying that you should not deep-fry the turkey, if not for your waistline than for your personal safety.

Go Easy on the Gravy

Gravy goes well on mashed potatoes, turkey and, well, anything on the dinner plate.

But this yummy flavor-filled sauce does not come without consequences.

Gravy can hold most of the calories on the dinner plate. This is because the majority of people use turkey drippings in their gravy.

Instead, think about trying a low-fat broth-based gravy or vegetarian gravy.

Dress It, Don’t Stuff It

When it comes to the dressing, cooking it in a casserole dish, instead of stuffing it in the turkey, can cut down the calorie count.

Vegetables can take the place of the dressing inside the turkey, which will give the turkey a more rustic look.

It is hard to slim down dressing, so take small servings and try to stay away from seconds.

Take Time and Savor

Thanksgiving is not about who at the table can finish their food the fastest.

The more time you take to enjoy your food, the more time the brain has to tell you that you are in fact full.

Plan a walk with your guests after dinner and before dessert to take time and catch up on each other’s lives.

The walk will also keep you away from the food coma and endless couch time most people experience.

Also, don’t forget that Thanksgiving is less about the food and more about friends and family that surround you. They are the should be given thanks to.

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