Enjoy your Thanksgiving without feeling calorie guilt

Thanksgiving is a time for family and for giving thanks. For many, it’s one of only a few chances to sit down with all of their loved ones for a scrumptious feast of turkey and all the trimmings.

For those trying to shed the pounds, however, it can be a dreaded day of food temptation. And although it’s just one day, many dieters feel if they give in to that temptation, they will begin a downhill spiral that they’ve tried so hard to overcome.

“My successful members know they can enjoy Thanksgiving Day without hindering the success they’ve achieved,” said Caryn Shively, manager of Weight Watchers in Silverdale. “I tell my members that it’s important not to deprive themselves of the dishes they look forward to throughout the year, as long as they keep in mind the healthy lifestyle they’ve been living up until now.”

A great way to maintain control on Turkey Day is to plan ahead, according to Shively.

Weight Watchers offers these simple tips to remember before diving into an overloaded plate of Thanksgiving goodness:

• Don’t starve before the feast. Starving for a big dinner can backfire because it can result in overeating. Instead, eat a snack such as a cup of non-fat yogurt, half a small bagel with hummus or a piece of fruit to avoid feeling ravenous.

• Map out your plate. Try to fill half of the plate with vegetables and split the other half between meats and starches. This will help prioritize whether to get sweet potatoes, stuffing or macaroni and cheese, or a combination of smaller portions of all three.

• Don’t forget the activity. Walking is a great way to burn some extra calories during the holidays. In addition, if you walk together as a family, it provides a chance to catch up with each other in an undistracted environment.

Shively reminds those watching their calories that one large meal won’t pile on the pounds. The days of leftovers, however, are a different story.

Here are a few more tips for getting back on track on Nov. 23:

• Divide and conquer. Take out the Ziploc bags and containers. Freeze individual portions of favorite dishes so Thanksgiving can be enjoyed in moderation for a long time.

• Send the leftovers home with your guests. They will appreciate not cooking for one day and you’ll appreciate not being tempted by leftover biscuits.

• Create some leftover magic. By day three, it’s easy to get bored with another turkey and stuffing sandwich, but with a little abra-cadabra, leftovers can be turned into healthy meals. Some examples include Cuban-style ham, rice and beans, turkey and veggie omelettes and Asian-style salad. All of the recipes above are available upon request and are in the

November/December issue of “Weight Watchers Magazine.”

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