Thanksgiving typically means spending time with family while splurging on high-calorie comfort foods, but many would be healthier if they understood how to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving meal. Believe it or not, you can really enjoy the Thanksgiving meal without abandoning your weight loss goals or feeling guilty. There are plenty of ways to prepare a Thanksgiving meal that is both healthy and satisfying. The weight loss experts at Total Healthcare compiled this list of easy to follow “how to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving meal” tips that will help you turn your Thanksgiving feast into a healthy yet scrumptious meal:

Substitute Ingredients

The easiest way to prepare a more nutritious Thanksgiving meal is to substitute ingredients with high calories, fat, and sugar with healthier alternatives. You can start by using fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and cook your gravy. If you’re making any mashed potatoes, casseroles, or creamy dips, use fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt. For any desserts you decide to bake, be sure to use sugar substitutes such as maple syrup instead of sugar.

Fill Up with Veggies

Since vegetables are filling and healthy, it’s a good idea to fill up two-thirds of your Thanksgiving plate with vegetables. In addition to veggies, you can choose fruits, whole grains, and other foods with plenty of fiber and water. Filling up your plate properly will help you get fuller faster and reduce your risk of reaching for too many unhealthy foods.

Remove Turkey Skin

While turkey skin is tasty, it also contains plenty of fat and cholesterol. Therefore, it’s best to resist the temptation to eat it and trim it off as soon as you add some turkey to your plate. By refraining from turkey skin, you will free yourself from eating one of the fattiest foods of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Drink Water

By drinking plenty of water before and during your Thanksgiving meal, you will fill your stomach and avoid overeating. Drinking water is also a better alternative to drinking high-calorie soft drinks, alcohol, coffee and other unhealthy beverages.

Eat Healthy Meals Before the Meal

Most people choose to skip breakfast and lunch before the Thanksgiving meal in order to save their appetites. It’s far healthier to eat portion-controlled, healthy meals throughout the day so that you’ll have control over your appetite and become less likely to overeat. In addition, eating small meals prior to the big feast will make it easier for you to digest your Thanksgiving meal.

The average person eats over 2,000 calories during Thanksgiving. By following the tips listed above, you’ll be able to adhere to your weight loss plan without depriving yourself of a delightful meal. For more tricks on healthy holiday eating, contact Total HealthcareMD today.