Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat excessively. I mean, who can blame us? But, this year is going to be different, and here’s why…we’ve got the top SEVEN tips to help you with portion control that will, ultimately, help to stave off the holiday bulge.
START WITH SOUP
Start your meal with a soup – think butternut squash soup, or a broccoli and carrot soup with potatoes and thyme. By kicking off your meal with soup, you’ll slow down while eating which allows you to feel full faster, and, research has shown, that by starting your meal with soup, you may even reduce the number of calories you consume during your main meal. If you’re looking for the perfect soup to add to your Thanksgiving dinner (or throughout the fall), check out our favourite recipe, below.
VEGGIES, VEGGIES, AND MORE VEGGIES
Fill up 50 percent of your plate with veggies! These veggies should include Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, bell peppers, or a green salad. Stick with smaller portions of starchy veggies, such as corn, potatoes, green peas, and winter squashes.
ADD FLAVOUR, BUT NOT CALORIES
Instead of adding flavour to your veggies with high caloric additives, consider putting your colourful vegetables together in your dishes and use herbs, spices, onions, and garlic to add flavour. For example, try adding cumin to your carrots, or garlic with your Brussels sprouts – you’ll get huge flavour without adding calories.
YOUR TURKEY CHOICES
When you’re choosing your protein during your Thanksgiving dinner, stick to skinless turkey breast. And when you’re trying to determine the portion you should choose, do your best to choose a piece of turkey approximately the size of a deck of cards.
SCOOPING THE SIDES
When scooping your sides – mashed potatoes, yams, and stuffing, in particular – do so sparingly. Your serving size for your sides should be kept to about half a cup. But, what does that look like? Well, for reference, half a cup is about the size of a baseball.
AND WHO COULD FORGET DESSERT?
When it comes to dessert, portion control is key! We know every dessert on the table looks incredible, and each and every pie makes your mouth water, but try to keep it to one slice. And when it comes to adding ice cream or whip cream on top? Maybe take a pass.
ALCOHOL COUNTS TOO
Alcohol definitely counts to! For many of us, the holiday season means more get-togethers and parties, both of which often mean we drink a few extra glasses of wine and full mugs of beer. And the biggest problem with this? We don't know what a proper serving looks like in those glasses! If you’re curious what a single serving is, for wine a single serving is 5 ounces, while for beer a single serving is 12 ounces. The best way to portion control your alcohol is to never re-fill your glass until it’s empty – avoid “top ups”, as it’s nearly impossible to track.
We want you to enjoy your holiday meals and parties this Thanksgiving, but we also want you to feel good when the long weekend is over. These top seven tips can help you to manage your portions this Thanksgiving, allowing you to enjoy the tastiest fall treats, all while battling the holiday budge.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
1 butternut squash
1.5L of chicken stock
3 sticks of celery
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 - 1 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp of butter or 1 tbsp of coconut oil
1-2 tsp of cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the squash in half and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast in a pre-heated 400o oven for 40-45 minutes.
- In a pot on medium to high heat, sauté your carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and ginger.
- Once the squash is roasted, cut it into pieces and put it in the pot with the rest of the veggies.
- Add your chicken stock to the pot with the veggies. Allow pot to boil. Once the stock comes to a boil, use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients into a soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Michael Bellissimo, FLMP, RTS 123, ISSN SNS