Thanksgiving Day is around the corner, so make sure you have a plan! After all, you've struggled to stay lean year round. A few bad meals can ruin your best intentions to eat clean.
The good news is that you can stay slim and have dessert! The holidays don't have to equal weight gain. Simple tricks, such as swapping dark meat turkey for turkey breast and starting your day with protein, can make all the difference.
So, here are five healthy food swaps to avoid weight gain this Thanksgiving:
Eat Pumpkin Pie Instead of Pecan Pie
The average American consumes about 4,500 calories on this special day. The feast continues on Christmas and New Year's Eve, so the pounds add up. Luckily, cutting calories isn’t that hard.
For starters, swap pecan pie for pumpkin pie. There are over 806 calories in a single slice of pecan pie. Pumpkin pie, by comparison, has just 265 calories per slice. Even better, make up a batch of our CLICK Pumpkin Spice balls to get your pumpkin spice fix without all the extra calories, sugar and fat.
Grill Instead of Frying
Fried turkey is high in calories and fat. To cut calories, grill or roast the meat instead of frying it. This way, you'll enjoy its amazing flavor without having to worry about extra fats.
Do the same for other dishes, whether they contain meat, veggies, or legumes. With grilling, the excess fat drips off the grates and your food preserves its nutrients. On top of that, it's no need to use oil or butter.
Frying, on the other hand, releases acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical. Not to mention that fried foods are much higher in calories!
Swap Mashed Potatoes for Mashed Cauliflower
A serving of mashed potatoes boasts over 245 calories. The same amount of mashed cauliflower has just 110 calories and seven times more vitamin C. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in carbs. Your guests won’t even tell the difference! The flavor is out of the world!
Serve Brussels Sprouts Instead of Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are healthy and nutritious. Loaded with carbs and fats, green bean casserole is a whole different story. One cup has over 235 calories.
To prevent weight gain, replace this dish with Brussels sprouts or asparagus. Or you can serve green beans sautéed in olive oil, which have less than 90 calories per serving. For extra flavor, sprinkle nutritional yeast or low-fat cheese on top.
Use Wild Rice Instead of Pilaf
Rice pilaf with pecans and dried cranberries has about four teaspoons of sugar per serving. It's a caloric bomb that adds empty calories to your diet.
Swap it for wild rice with mushrooms to stay lean. This healthy dish is loaded with iron, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and complex carbs that provide lasting energy. Mushrooms are chock-full of protein and low in carbs. Another option is to use quinoa and veggies instead of rice pilaf.
These are just a few of the many food swaps you can try this Thanksgiving. Start your day with a high-protein meal to keep hunger at bay.
Replace your morning coffee with CLICK for an extra protein kick! This way, you'll stay full longer and eat less at Thanksgiving dinner. Drink a cup between meals or before your guests arrive. It's a foolproof way to curb cravings and rev up your metabolism!
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