Thanksgiving dinner: What foods to avoid, and how to cut the excess calories

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Starting Thanksgiving day off right is the key to a successful holiday.

“And so a lot of people do skip meals and kind’ve wait until the later part of the day which is actually not recommended,” said Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator Dr. Alexis Schulte at Trident Medical.

Dr. Schulte said that means eating a light breakfast with good protein options like eggs, cheese, or greek yogurt. You want to make sure that you’re not starving yourself because then you will binge eat.

“Another recommendation is to kind’ve set up your plate where half of it comes from low-calorie foods,” said Dr. Schulte.

She advises you go heavy on the greens, like green beans or a salad. Dr. Schulte said it’s all about portion control. She said starchy foods should be smaller than your fist.

“You want to make sure that it’s not overloaded,” Schulte said. “So if you think of the width of the thickness of your palm, that’s about the size that you want for meats.”

And skip the added salt at the table. There’s already enough prepared in the meal.

“Try to go light on the fatty items. Gravy, you know stuffing,” Certified Diabetes Educator with Trident Medical, Dr. Cathy Reinhart said.

Dr. Reinhart said how you prepare your foods also plays a huge factor in calorie intake.

“Instead of adding a bunch of butter and cream to mashed potatoes, you can use seasonings or even cook the mashed potatoes in chicken broth,” said Dr. Reinhart.

And don’t rush the process. Meals should take 20 to 30 minutes to eat, not ten.

“Try to eat slower,” Dr. Reinhart said. “Don’t eat really fast.”

And how could we forget the desserts?

“Your fruit pies are probably healthier for you than a cream pie,” said Dr. Reinhart.

Cake slices should be about two inches in size. A pie should be cut into eighths.

But according to Dr. Schulte, in the event that you do over-indulge… Don’t beat yourself up. She said just get back on track the next day.

“It is a holiday,” Dr. Schulte said. “It is not a holi-week. It is not a holi-month. So if you overindulge on one day and get back on track the next day you should be fine, but not to over-extend it. “

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