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Surviving Thanksgiving – Avoiding the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain

Surviving Thanksgiving – Avoiding the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain

By Dino Cinquemani, RDN

thanksgiving foodDuring the month of November and Thanksgiving Day, we dream of pumpkin pies, cakes, treats & other goodies to satisfy our sweet tooth. Co-workers bring delicious treats in for us to sample so be very careful my friend, by the time lunch comes around your calorie needs for the day will have been met.  Willpower will play a very important role in the outcome of your post-Thanksgiving weight.

Game Plan: Remember that Thanksgiving is only one day, not week or a season, so stay away from the “goodies” table and have healthy snacks readily available, making it less likely that you’ll cave in to temptation.  If you do cave, make sure it’s worth it and share your savory treat with a friend or loved one.

On Thanksgiving Day

  • Make sure you don’t skip any meals and go into the main event ravenous.
  • Have smaller healthy meals and try to get a workout in. There will be lots of great food on the menu so choose wisely.
  • Take the items you can’t live without and leave the rest!
  • Don’t fill your plate to the brim because you may feel you have to clean your plate, plus you can always come back for seconds.

To conserve on calories try re-creating Auntie Viola’s fat laden recipes by crafting healthier versions of your own.  There are many ways to replace fats and calories while keeping true to the richness and flavor of the original dish. You may even create some new holiday favorites and healthier traditions. Some great websites to look to for recipe ideas are:


Last but not least, one of the beauties of hosting Thanksgiving dinner is that at the end of the meal you can send your guests home with the leftovers. They will be happy and you will be pounds lighter.

In A Nutshell

    1. Remember – Thanksgiving is only one day not an entire season.
    2. Eat smaller regular meals throughout Thanksgiving Day.
    3. Plan ahead- Update your family’s calorie filled recipes.
    4. Choose wisely from the menu.  Take only what you can’t live without.
    5. Don’t fill your plate!  You can always come back for more.
    6. Send your guests home with leftovers.