Thanksgiving can be a real challenge for anyone trying to reign in their appetite or watch their weight with all that mouth-watering turkey, delicious green bean casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, and Grandma’s special pumpkin pie. You might feel like you’re gaining five pounds just thinking about it.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the buffet table so you can enjoy the festivities without sabotaging your diet.

  • Eat first. Have a nutritious breakfast or lunch to curb your cravings during the Thanksgiving meal.
  • Make substitutions. Modify traditional recipes to cut calories and fat by using chicken broth or fat-free yogurt instead of cream in dips and mashed potatoes.
  • Switch plates. Leave the large 10-inch dinner plate on the table and switch to a more calorie-friendly 8-inch plate so you’ll eat less without even thinking about it.
  • Choose wisely. Just because certain dishes are offered doesn’t mean you have to sample every one. Look over the entire buffet before making your selections.
  • Slow down. Savor and chew every bite thoroughly so you can enjoy your meal and be satisfied with one plate of food.
  • Stay put. Avoid going back for second helpings and limit portion sizes.
  • Drink responsibly. Limit alcoholic consumption since calories from alcohol can add up fast and trigger cravings for high-calorie foods.
  • Keep moving. Go for a walk after the main course and have dessert later. 

If you are eating out for your Thanksgiving meal, ask for food that is steamed, grilled or broiled rather than fried or sautéed. Request that sauces and dressing be served on the side, and watch out for super-sized portions that tempt you to eat too much.

For some tips on how to produce a festive meal you will be happy to serve on Thanksgiving Day, visit

Photo credit: Fuse/Thinkstock


Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


Recognize 4787 Views