If you’re watching your weight or have set a goal to be your healthiest, there’s a good chance Thanksgiving looms over your head like the torturous, delicious banquet that it is. At most homes, turkey and all the fixings consists of heavy, calorie-laden foods that make us feel sentimental and warm inside, but take hours at the gym to burn off.
While we wouldn’t dare suggest you sit out one of the most joyful holidays of the season altogether, we asked Interval Studio Director Dustin Hogue at Studio Three what a trainer avoids like the plague on Thanksgiving in order to maintain a healthy weight and not muck up the precious time he/she has already clocked in at the gym.
“Thanksgiving poses a huge challenge when it comes to making healthy eating choices,” Hogue says. “On average, people consume nearly double the amount of calories they should in a single day. Avoid over doing your Thanksgiving feast by staying away from dishes that are loaded with unhealthy fat from butter, milk and heavy cream such as mashed potatoes. One serving of creamy mashed potatoes can have nearly 300 calories.”
When you consider the many other foods you’ll be adding to your plate: carb and calorie-rich stuffing, sugary cranberry sauce, gravy, and marshmallow sweet potatoes, those mashed potato calories are going to add up fast. Rather than leave out the potatoes altogether, Hogue proposes a simple solution if you happen to be the one wearing the chef’s hat on Thanksgiving day.
“Half the amount of butter in your recipe and instead of heavy cream, add greek yogurt,” Hogue says. “You also may try substituting mashed cauliflower or root vegetables such as parsnips and turnips.”
See? There really are smart and savory ways to have your cake (and potatoes) on Thanksgiving and eat them, too.
For more health and diet tips, check out why you should never order salad at a fast food restaurant and what’s the biggest rip-off at the grocery store?
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