Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top 5 Ways to Avoid the Pounds This Thanksgiving

Since a few of my posts have been on baby food, I wanted to take this post to discuss food for adults. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share my top five tips that I've learned after years of feasting away. The average American eats 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving! Here are some tried and true ways of keeping that number down while enjoying the holiday:

1.) Drink up: Studies show that drinking two glasses of water before a meal help with weight loss. Further to that, half the time when you think you're hungry, you're really just thirsty! So have a glass of water and then proceed to attack that turkey.

2.) Take a walk: Start a new tradition and take a family walk between the appetizers and dinner. New studies show that taking a walk before eating a rich meal might be one way to stop the effects of high-fat foods on blood vessel function.

3.) Use a smaller plate: Join the small plate movement!
"A person tends to over-serve onto larger plates, and because people consume an average of 92% of what they serve themselves, larger plates lead to larger food intake. A two inch difference in plate diameter — from 12" to 10" plates — would result in 22% fewer calories being served, yet it is not drastic enough to trigger a counteracting response. If a typical dinner has 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to a weight loss of around 18 pounds per year for an average size adult."
4.) Eat smart: Have your protein with vegetables and whole grains. Vegetables are filled with water and fiber so they are lower in calories while whole grains have more staying power and help you feel full longer. Don't skimp on the protein because it helps to keep your sugar levels in check. So mix it up and have some fun! We all love those mashed potatoes but mix in a vegetable like turnip (a family favorite at our house) so that you don't overload on those carbohydrates.

5.) Chew your food: The New York Times recently published an article that showcased several studies that promoted the age-old adage to chew your food.
"...subjects reported greater satiety and consumed roughly 10 percent fewer calories when they ate at a slow pace compared with times when they gobbled down their food."
Guess your mom was right!

That completes my top five. Hope it helps through the flurry of eating that is about to commence.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Hi Amrita,
    I like your style of writing, very clear and concise. I agree with the small plate movement, because when I was away for college, I would eat on smaller plates and thus kept my weight down. However, coming back home, with the big plates, it just feels better to fill 'em up instead of leaving them empty. :)Hence the weight gain. Anyways, I hope everyone does try to keep healthy but doesn't skimp on good food just because of weight issues. :D - Ruchika Kumar

  2. And because we aren't perfect, if you do happen to let yourself have an extra helping of the mac & cheese or more bread than you should have, you can counter the carb overload effect by drinking one cup of black tea after. The polyphenolic compounds in black tea will decrease your blood sugar level for up to 2.5 hours after the meal so you're less likely to get hungry right away.

    Another insulin-regulating food? Leafy greeans. So have some salad and spinach with your meal and you'll feel fuller longer, thanks to the Vitamin K it provides.