No one wants to go cold turkey on calories at Thanksgiving. And few do.
In fact, the average Utahn gains from four to seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's.A 125-pound woman needs approximately 1,400 calories a day to maintain her body weight. A 175-pound man needs about 2,100 calories. Every 3,500 calories over this amount adds one pound of body fat.
"If this man and woman eat a fairly typical Thanksgiving dinner, the woman will gain almost 2 pounds; the man will gain 11/2 pounds," said Lora Wortman, director of the Weight Management Program.
Wortman recommends increasing physical activity as a way to offset the added calories of the holiday season. Another option is to try to reduce the amount of fat consumed.
"Some of the traditional holiday foods are filled with fats, and for that reason, are high in calories," she said. "Gravy, stuffing, nuts, and pecan pie are loaded with fats and calories. You don't have to give up these foods. If you really love stuffing, then enjoy it. Just consider conserving calories somewhere else."
Wortman's advise is to start with the easy-to-accomplish changes first.
-Turkey contains fewer calories per ounce than ham. White meat is lower in fat than dark meat. Cut calories further by removing the skin from the turkey.
-Gravy contains 60 to 70 calories per tablespoon, but by skimming the gravy, you can cut calories by 80 percent.
-Stuffing, baked outside the turkey, has half the calories of stuffing cooked inside the bird.
-Baked potatoes have fewer calories than mashed, and much less than candied sweet potatoes. Sour cream has one quarter of the calories of butter.
-Pumpkin and apple pies have half the calories of pecan pie. Most of the fat in pie is in the crust.