With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we met with an expert member of our nutrition and weight loss team to discuss five easy ways Hampton Roads residents can save calories during the biggest meal of the year. Jackie Browning, a registered dietitian with the Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute, suggests that eating healthier during the holidays doesn’t have to be “a challenge,” “people would be shocked to see how many calories they can save with simple substitutions, serving choices, and portion control tricks.”
Here are Jackie’s top five sneaky tricks for watching your weight on Turkey day:
- Rely on Recipe Substitutions
If a recipe calls for evaporated milk, use evaporated skim milk instead to save 191 calories and 24 g of fat in every 12-fl-oz can. Similarly, use applesauce to replace oil. A single teaspoon of oil is 45 calories and 5 grams of fat. Often times a recipe will call for ½ cup of oil. This could easily add 600 calories in your to your recipe. By using an equal volume of applesauce, you can dramatically cut the calories and fat down.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Substances like Splenda and Stevia can make your sweet tooth sing without making the scale groan. By adding artificial sweeteners to your desserts and drinks instead of the real think, you can still enjoy your favorite recipes – with fewer calories!
- Punch Packs a Punch
We gain more weight from sugary drinks that many Americans know. If you are making a punch bowl, try using diet soda, instead of regular, and Crystal Light Fruit Punch to save calories and make room for the extra piece of fruitcake.
- Trade Dark Meat for White Meat
Based on the Exchange List, picking the right piece of turkey can make a big difference. White meat is a healthier alternative to dark meat, but if you gotta have that turkey leg, take the skin off and save 80 calories and 8 grams of fat/4 oz serving.
- A 4-oz portion of white meat no skin has ~ 140 calories, 28 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat.
- A 4-oz portion of dark meat no skin has ~ 220 calories, 28 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat
- A 4-oz portion of dark meat with skin as ~ 300 calories, 28 grams of protein, and 20 grams of fat
- Pick the Perfect Plate
Often times we fill our plates with as much as they can hold. Research shows that individuals who use a smaller plate are likely to pick smaller portions while still enjoying their favorite foods.