How to have a healthy holiday when faced with a big meal

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – “Start out right, so you’re not ravenous later,” said Jennifer Presson, a nutritionist at Saint Francis Hospital. 

With Thanksgiving just days away, many of us fantasize about that delicious, yet sinful, meal centered around the turkey. But, did you know the average American will consume somewhere around 3,000 calories on the holiday?

That said, Presson explains what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat all factor into a healthy holiday versus a not-so-healthy holiday.

She said, “Start out like a normal day, with a healthy breakfast. Don’t wait until you’re so hungry that you can’t wait anymore!”

Next, when it comes down to the time to serve appetizers, go for the greens and veggies.

“Some bell pepper, celery, carrots and hummus, those are a few good things,” she said. 

After you’ve had some time to digest your appetizer, it’s time for the moment of truth.

Presson said, “Start with a small plate. We don’t recommend eating off the big 10-inch dinner plate.”

When you load up your dinner plate, first go for the turkey. Make sure it’s the white meat though, since it’s a lean protein – not the dark.

Then, go for the vegetable options like collard greens. 

The last things you should load onto your plate are the starches like sweet potato casserole or rice dishes.

If you decide to have a drink, the USDA recommends one serving of alcohol for women and two servings for men. 

If you’re the host, Presson recommends buying measured scoopers. They’re are under $10 at any grocery store and help you and your guests serve proper portions and keep serving stations clean and tidy.

Find more healthy holiday tips HERE.

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