Thanksgiving and Your Waistline

Thanksgiving and Your Waistline

Make a plan if you don't want to gain weight.

In less than a week we'll celebrate Thanksgiving---a great time to get together  for a big meal, but possibly one of the worst days for your waistline.

How important is it to watch your diet at that major holiday feast?  And how can you  succeed when your mind's already on the menu?
 
Shoppers at Altoona's Giant Eagle have a similar menu for their Thanksgiving meal turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and corn casserole.  A few admit a little concern about over-eating.
 
UPMC Altoona Dietitian Randy Grabill says,  " I often tell my patients that this is the worst time of the year to try to watch your weight, it's the hardest time."

Grabill always counsels moderation  but admits it can be a hard sell for Thanksgiving.
"Some people really don't want to do that at this meal. They want to say 'hey, I'm going to eat whatever I want as much as I want,'" he says.

The clinical dietitian says  that's okay as long as you  balance it out by cutting back before or after the holiday.
If you are trying to lose weight or maintain it, and want to stick with it on Thanksgiving,  he advises planning ahead. 

"My strategy," he explains," is I like to try to eat a little bit of everything because if that's my favorite meal of the whole year, I really don't want to say I'm not going to eat something."

If you're diabetic or have heart problems, try to limit starchy foods, and heavy creamy dishes, focusing instead on turkey and healthier foods.
 
Grabill says one big meal won't be a deal breaker, but you do need to find some balance during the eating marathon that seems to start on Thanksgiving   and last until after the Superbowl.

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