Have a healthy Thanksgiving without sacrificing the savor - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Have a healthy Thanksgiving without sacrificing the savor

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Between the turkey, the sides and the desserts, Thanksgiving can cost you a lot of calories.

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average person eats about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving and if that's not enough, maybe this is:

"The average person gains about seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's," says Kelly Snow, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center Registered Dietitian.

Seven pounds is equivalent to more than 24,000 calories.

Before you eat your Thanksgiving meal, there are ways to start your day healthy.  

The first thing experts recommend you do is start your day off with exercise.  Also, drink water - experts say the more you drink, the less you eat.

Make sure you eat one to two meals before dinner.  The worst thing you can do is starve yourself before the big meal.  

"It actually increases your metabolism if you start out early eating, so you're going to burn off that Thanksgiving meal quicker if you've already eaten that day," says Snow.

Starving yourself slows down your metabolism, so you'll hold onto your meal, which can cause a lot of the food to turn into fat.

You can also keep off that holiday weight by making a few small changes to your table.

"Bake your turkey, rather than fry it. If you want gravy with your turkey, you can use broths instead of the actual grease from the turkey, that makes a big difference," says Snow.

Other tips include using olive oil instead of butter, adding color to your Thanksgiving meal to avoid a table full of starches, and filling about two thirds of your plate with vegetables.

To avoid putting on holiday pounds, eat in moderation.

When it comes to the sweet stuff, replace fat in baking recipes, by using applesauce, yogurt or mashed bananas.  Test your guests, you may be surprised to see, you won't taste much of a difference.

Remember, Thanksgiving and Christmas are only two days out of the year. If you splurge on these days, just remember you have the rest of the year to eat healthy.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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