Thanksgiving need not be diet train wreck

Nov. 24, 2011 at 2:02 AM
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COLUMBIA, Mo., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- University of Missouri dietitians recommend people maintain a healthy diet during the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving.

Donna Mehrle, a registered dietitian, reminds people to consider how they feel when they eat healthy foods and are physically active, so they're more likely to continue those behaviors when holiday stress and cold weather offer convenient excuses. Feeling better is a great motivator, she said.

"People can continue their healthy habits by being aware of their food choices at the Thanksgiving table and identifying time commitments that may interrupt their regular exercise schedules," Mehrle said in a statement. "Choosing different ways to socialize can be a great strategy. Playing a game of flag football or participating in a 5K race as a family, rather than having another big dinner or TV marathon, are enjoyable ways to incorporate physical activity on Thanksgiving Day."

The nutrition experts also recommend to:

-- Eat healthily throughout the day and have a small, high-protein snack such as an apple with peanut butter, a hard-boiled egg or yogurt.

-- Make simple swaps such as whole-wheat bread rather than white, brown or wild rice rather than white, or a yogurt parfait instead of another piece of pie.

-- Enjoy some of your favorite seasonal treats, but use a small plate to control portion sizes.

-- If you do overindulge, try to maintain perspective. One day of overeating won't make you gain weight, so plan to get back on track with healthy eating and regular exercise the next day.

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