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Making healthier choices at Thanksgiving dinner

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 17 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 19 2012 05:13:36 AM CST

Trying to stay healthy this Thanksgiving

We're entering the holiday season full of hustle and bustle and unhealthy food choices. Thanksgiving meal usually includes temptations like stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes and pie. 69 News sat down with a dietician to find out how you can still eat your favorite holiday foods without feeling guilty of over-indulging.

"I think a lot of people just assume Thanksgiving's the day to just throw caution to the wind and just eat whatever they want," said clinical dietician for St. Luke's University Hospital Dorothy McFadden. "But you really need to plan for it and decide what you really want to eat."

She says the average American will fill their plate with close to 3,000 calories for Thanksgiving dinner. So smaller portions is key to slimming that down. And if you're watching your waistline, you should make some smarter, wiser choices.

"I recommend that you eat off of a smaller plate," said McFadden. "Most people will eat off a 10-12 inch plate and we recommend you eat off a 8-9 inch plate."

You can also put down your fork between bites. Savor your company and focus on what you're thankful for rather than the food in front of you. If you're hosting this Thanksgiving, you can control what you serve.

McFadden says to do your research, and look for recipes that are healthier and lower in calories. And don't forget about the drinks. The calories in that juice or alcoholic beverage pile up on top of the meal.

"I try to encourage everybody to drink lots of water because the calories in beverages really add up," shared McFadden.

And if you want dessert, go for it! Just make sure it's in moderation.

"What I recommend is buying take home containers and divvy up all your leftovers," said McFadden. "Put them in containers, put them in bags and all of your guests go home with a bag so none of those leftovers are left in your home to tempt you."