Healthy Eating During Thanksgiving Dinner

The average person gains between seven and ten pounds in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday festivities that are centered around food are unavoidable during this time of year, which means that to keep from gaining weight, you must make healthy food choices whenever possible. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorites, as making a few simple changes could be all that’s needed to help you keep things under control.

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Just because you are on a diet does not mean your guests want to dine on nothing but vegetables. A Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, and other traditional dishes, all of which are laden with calories. To ensure you are able to enjoy all your favorites while also reducing the number of calories you consume, consider:

  • Substituting whole or 2% milk for the heavy cream in mashed potatoes
  • Baking stuffing separately so that fat droppings will not add to the calorie count
  • Making pies with phyllo dough, which is thinner and contains fewer calories than traditional crust.
  • Using plain yogurt rather than sour cream in your green bean casserole
  • Cutting the skin off of your turkey before serving, and consuming dark meat rather than white
  • Using reduced fat cheese to make macaroni and cheese.

Burning those Thanksgiving Calories

There’s more you can do besides just modifying your favorite recipes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go on a brisk walk after a big meal. Better yet, take your family on a walk around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights rather than going for a drive in the car.
  • When at a party, offer to help the host clean up. Doing so will get you up and away from the table so you won’t be tempted to get seconds.
  • When you are the host, spend more time focusing on your guests. Getting up to refill drinks or take up dirty dishes will distract you and make it less likely that you will overeat.
  • Don’t overdo it. Just because it’s Thanksgiving does not mean you are obligated to eat until you are stuffed.

Careful planning before the holiday is needed if you are to avoid weight gain during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you do pack on a few extra pounds despite your best efforts, please contact us here at McRae Medical Laser Spa for a plan to help take them off.


Elizabeth McRae, M.D. F.A.C.P.

Internal Medicine Doctor in San Antonio and Boerne, TX

Elizabeth McRae, M.D., F.A.C.P. has been board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine since 1991. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center where she received her Medical Degree. Dr. McRae received her internal medical training as part of the LSU Charity Hospital System. She is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. McRae has practiced Advanced Laser Aesthetics since 2005. She has been a member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery since 2007. The Doctor has also published research for ASLMS Journal in 2013. Dr. McRae has trained with specialists in the Laser and Aesthetic fields, both plastic surgeons and dermatologists, to bring the latest in Aesthetic Services to the Texas Hill Country.

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