Last week I posted a few tips for healthy holiday eating on our Block CF blog http://blockcrossfit.com/2014/11/tips-for-healthy-holiday-eating/. The suggestions in that post apply to all holidays. However, I wanted to give some special attention to Thanksgiving because it is the “eating” holiday and many cross fitters have a healthy appetite. The average person consumes 3000-4500 calories at Thanksgiving dinner and there are approximately 230g of fat on one Thanksgiving plate!
Here are some ideas for creating a “lighter” plate:
- Make half your plate veggies (green veggies preferably). Most likely you’ll be able to find a salad or green bean casserole. These foods are high in fiber and often lower in calories (though not always low-calorie because of butter or oil that’s been added to them, but lower).
- Select your starches wisely. Make ¼ of your plate complex carbohydrates. There will be no shortage of potatoes, stuffing, rolls, etc. eat what you really want, but try to avoid going back for seconds (and thirds). Focus on whole grains like whole wheat bread and dinner rolls rather than white, refined grains.
- Go for lean protein. Select white meat over dark meat and avoid over-processed meats such as cured ham if possible.
- Choose one dessert. Pick your favorite and enjoy it or put bite sized samples of different items on a small plate.
- Minimize alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s easy to consume hundreds of calories without ever lifting your fork. Fluids do not provide the same feeling of fullness as solid foods and most people don’t adjust their calorie intake based on the calories they drink. Stick to soda water with lemon or lime (it’s calorie-free and sugar-free), a glass of wine or water. Save your calories for the good stuff!
Don’t forget to do a pre-dinner workout (the box will be open) or a post-dinner walk. Exercise is the best thing you can do if you plan to eat more than usual.