Skip this, choose that: a guide to a health-conscious Thanksgiving

By Tate Watson, Staff Writer

While it might sound yummy to stuff your face with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce all day on Thanksgiving, this option usually leaves you uncomfortably full, bloated, and riddled with regrets. According to the Calorie Control Council the average turkey eater will consume 4,500 calories this Thanksgiving. To avoid the Thanksgiving weight gain that goes along with this calorie extravaganza, make healthier choices for what you put on your plate and the activities you participate in. These options will save your waistline and still allow you to have lots of food and fun this holiday.


Skip this: Dark meat

Choose that: White meat

The staple of every Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. While this isn’t the worst part of the menu nutrition wise, there is an easy switch just waiting to happen in what part of the turkey you eat. Choosing the white breast meat from the turkey instead of the dark meat found in the legs is an easy switch that allows you to save room for the pumpkin pie later on. While there’s not a huge difference in the calorie amount between the two, dark meat has nearly three times the fat content of white meat, which can really pack on the pounds. Passing on the skin will also save you from the unwanted food baby.


Skip this: Homemade whipped cream

Choose that: Low Fat Cool Whip

Thanksgiving dessert is your last chance to make a decision that will lower your calorie count for the day. Chances are you’ll already be stuffed from dinner so making a switch on what you put on your pumpkin pie won’t be too hard to manage. Instead of spooning on heaps of full fat homemade whipped cream, try some cool whip on your pie. There’s only 15 calories in two tablespoons of fat free cool whip and you won’t even notice the difference when it’s topping your grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. Who knew being healthy could taste just as good?


Skip this: TV on the couch

Choose that: Football with the cousins

Who said all the switches had to be about food? An easy way to help balance out the evening’s feast is to make smart decisions about what you do that day. While it might be nice to spend three hours watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and tweeting about the crazy floats, your waistline will be hurting the next day. Instead choose the activities that will jumpstart your metabolism and burn off at least part of dinner. Start a football game with the cousins outside or challenge your uncle to a game of Just Dance on the Wii- anything to help you stay active!