Thoughts on how to navigate Turkey Day (or Carb Fest 2012)

As we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, I am thinking about and planning for how I am going to enjoy the holiday without gorging on carbs. I just don't want to lose any more ground, as I try to maintain my weight loss (it has been a struggle the last few months). I have done well the last few major holidays, but Thanksgiving has always been a challenge for me. I just love the food combinations present: sweet jellied cranberries with savory turkey; stuffing and mashed potatoes; and you all know my weakness for pie! I also got a question from a woman in my Nutrition for Weight Loss class about how to gracefully pass on the high-carb and gluten-ey items (she is gluten and dairy free, as am I).

I double up on turkey and pass on the rolls.

So there are many pitfalls for us who are trying to eat real foods in balance, while watching the carbohydrates, to lose weight. Here are some things I do to handle the food choices gracefully:
  • Unless you have interfering aunts, or an overly-watchful mother, no one really notices what you're putting on your plate. Don't put anything on your plate to satisfy someone else (easier said than done, I know). For the interfering relatives, you can but out the old fashioned, “I'm watching my figure!” Works every time.
  • I typically double up on turkey, take a small amount of mashed potatoes, and load up on green veggies. I do have cranberries with my turkey. If I stick to this, I don't have the normal bloated, tired feeling after the meal.
  • Dessert is a mine field. I love pie, and there are usually five different kinds to choose from. I leave it to the day to decide if I will have a small piece. I gauge how I am feeling and whether or not I will feel too deprived if I pass on it. Usually, if I can get a nice cup of coffee with real whipping cream I am fine. Otherwise, I go for it. I just insist on a pie made with butter and not hydrogenated oils.

Have a favorite tip for eating during the holidays? Leave a comment.





11 Comments on “Thoughts on how to navigate Turkey Day (or Carb Fest 2012)”

  1. julie says:

    Easy for me. I dislike pie, so not an issue. I had some turkey, green salad, and an Okinawa sweet potato (good thing I brought them, otherwise it would have been undercooked regular potatoes). My dad is not a good cook, and the turkey was overdone. There was no stuffing, no side dishes, some ice cream for dessert. I lost a few pounds last weekend. My parents seem to have a white bread/cheese based diet, thus so do I when I visit, but I always lose weight. My theory is that the food is so bland and meh that I undereat. Kinda throws my whole theories on what is fattening for me out the window.

  2. Kate says:

    Hi Nell,
    Being a guest at someone’s home leaves me little control so I bring food to share I know is prepared with quality ingredients. I brought a tossed salad festively dressed with pomegranate seeds and sliced celery for crunch then filled my plate with it before taking a 4-oz. portion of turkey. My hosts served a delicious gingered kale and carrot strip side dish. I’ll get the recipe and pass it along. With dinner, I had a small glass of red wine and drank plenty of water that left me feeling satisfied. I also shared traditional pumpkin pies and a yummy dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin dessert topped with real whipped cream so I didn’t feel deprived at all. I fielded plenty of questions about my way of eating, but was able to share my positive health experiences. Maybe next they’ll stop using margarine and Equal.

  3. I only choose what I absolutely love and rarely get other times of the year. Don’t really care about mashed potatoes or corn or dinner rolls. I fill up on turkey, my husband’s cran-relish, and my mom’s butternut squash soup. After cleaning up, we go for a long walk before coming back for pie.

  4. ellieb67 says:

    I don’t have a tip but I have told all my family that will be here on Thanksgiving that I’ll be watching what I’m eating. Thankfully I have a very supportive family!

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