Thanksgiving Strategies

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Enjoy Thanksgiving:  Have  A Plan
Thanksgiving allows us to spend time with our friends and families and give thanks — thanks for all that is good in our lives.  Gratitude is a wonderful spiritual practice and a cornerstone of healthy living.  For many of us, that’s where the healthy part of Thanksgiving ends and the unhealthy begins.  As Americans, we have been taught that we have to eat what we are served, and it is almost unpatriotic (and rude to our hosts) not to eat what is served.  The typical Thanksgiving meal ranges from 2500-4500 calories.
The chart below, from the Calorie Control Council (a research group funded by the low-calorie food industry) gives a typical breakdown.
Of course, fat is the only macronutrient listed, as this group considers it unhealthy.  My takeaway is that turkey is NOT the problem, and I don’t know too many Cheeseball eaters, but stuffing and pecan pie get you half a day’s worth of calories all by themselves.
So what should you do at Thanksgiving?  Just say “no”?  Each of us has to do what he or she is (somewhat) comfortable doing.  I encourage everyone to consider making small changes that leave you with less damage at the end of the day.  Cut back on portions, especially of the high carb foods.  Eat more turkey and vegetables so you feel full.  Set a healthier example for your family — you may not be appreciated at first, but you will be doing the right thing.
Overall, enjoy the holiday.  Don’t make your healthier lifestyle a cudgel that you hit others with.  The next day, go back to eating what you have been.  Record your calories on My Fitness Pal without remorse or regret.

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