Top Thanksgiving Swaps (save calories without realizing it!)

Okay, you ready for this? According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day!!

Thanksgiving feasts are definitely about treating yourself, giving thanks, and let’s face it – a little indulgence – and we are definitely not suggesting shifting focus from any of those. However, having a plan and being aware of some simple swaps you could make when filling your plate tomorrow could save you hundreds of calories – without feeling like you’re saving hundreds of calories!

Men’s Health’s Eat This, Not That came up with a list of the top Thanksgiving swaps to save calories – but still partake in the whole meal (including the pie!). Remember, keeping your food plan and these options top of mind could help you make a simple swap without even thinking about it.

No matter what your plans might be, and even if they do include 2 slices of pecan pie 🙂 – have a Happy Thanksgiving!

PS – We’re planning a fabulous Friday AM class and we’ll all be sweating gravy together! Our regular schedule will continue all weekend, as well, so if you want to come burn off some of your turkey hangover, we’re there for you!

Here are the top swaps you can make to save yourself hundreds of calories:

The Star – Turkey:
Choose white meat (4 oz) with
homemade cranberry sauce (2 tbsp):

195 calories
4 g fat
265 mg sodium

Instead of dark meat (4 oz) with jellied cranberry sauce (1/2 inch slice):410 calories
10 g fat
(4 g satured)
320 mg sodium

Dark meat is about twice as fatty as white meat, and homemade cranberry sauce (vs the canned variety) can save tons of sugar.

The Side Dish: 
Choose Green Bean Casserole (1/2 cup):
100 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated)
300 mg sodium

Instead of Stuffing (1/2 cup):
175 calories
14 g fat
(6 g saturated)
420 mg sodium

Double the stuffing calories if it was cooked inside a bird – and remember that this green bean casserole option was not made with cream of mushroom soup!

The Potato:
Choose Mashed potatoes (1/2) cup
with turkey gravy (1/4 cup):
140 calories
7 g fat (2 g saturated)
340 mg sodium

Instead of Candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping (1/2 cup):
250 calories
8 g fat (5 g saturated)
270 mg sodium

Not only do you save the calories here, but the normally vitamin-packed sweet potatoes tend to lose their nutritional edge when smothered in marshmallows…imagine that!

The Bread:
Choose a Dinner roll with butter:
130 calories
5 g fat (2 g saturated)
210 mg sodium

Instead of Cornbread with butter:
190 calories
9 g fat (4 g saturated)
360 mg sodium

Bonus if your roll is whole grain!

The Grand Finale – Pie:
Choose Pumpkin pie with low-fat whipped cream (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie):

335 calories
15 g fat (6.5 g saturated)
38 g sugars

Instead of Pecan Pie (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie):
450 calories
21 g fat (4 g saturated)
70 g sugars

Of all pies, pumpkin ranks on the lower end of the calorie index!


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