Did you know the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day?

Between the drinks, turkey, sides and desserts, it’s no surprise calories add up quickly.

Think about how much exercise it would take to burn those calories off.

Of course, we all want to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal, but there are certainly ways to take in less calories and maintain weight during the holidays.

How to cut calories on Thanksgiving Day:

thanksgiving meal

What is your thanksgiving meal like? Photo courtesy of sxc.hu

Eat a high-protein breakfast

Eating breakfast may seem like a way to add on more calories to your daily intake, but it actually will most likely keep you from indulging later. Feeling very hungry before a big meal can be a dangerous thing because it usual leads to overeating. A high protein breakfast will satisfy hunger until Thanksgiving lunch is served.

Go for the white turkey meat

The white meat has fewer calories than the dark turkey meat. This is a simple way to cut calories. You can also avoid eating the skin on the turkey to reduce calories intake.

Substitute high-calorie ingredients

Many traditional Thanksgiving recipes call for high-calorie ingredients like butter or sugar. Find low-calorie substitutions for these types of ingredients to make a lighter meal. For example, skim milk and olive-oil based margarine are a great substitution for butter because they still add moisture and flavor to food without calorie overload.

Drink light beverages

The calories from beverages can add up quickly. The best beverage option is always water, but if you do want to treat yourself to a soda, cocktail or beer with your meal, choose the light option. Cut Thanksgiving calories with a light cocktail or punch recipe to serve on Thanksgiving.

Fill your plate with lighter sides

Take only a small portion of the high calorie foods, such as potatoes or stuffing, from the spread. Then fill your plate with lighter sides such as vegetables and fruit. This way you can still enjoy the flavor of the high calorie foods, but there is no temptation to over-indulge in them.

Lastly, include activity into your day to burn some of those calories. Go for a jog right away in the morning or take a walk with the family mid-afternoon.

You can eat a delicious holiday meal without over-indulging. It’s all about modifying recipes, controlling portion size, and moderation. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

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