Tips to Stay Healthy During Thanksgiving Dinner

Danville, VA - All the food during the holidays is most people's guilty pleasure. But for some, that means adding on some holiday weight. Experts have some tips on how to cut the calories and even eat healthy during Thanksgiving.

It really just takes motivation. Experts say the average Thanksgiving meal is 1,500 to 2,000 calories per person.

"It's just hard for a lot of people to stay on a diet or to eat healthy during this time," said Jennifer Dietz, a nutritionist.

Whether your weakness is turkey, stuffing, or desserts, Thanksgiving meals are often a dieting disaster. But how can you avoid adding on the pounds and not subtract from the meal?

First, Dietz suggests to focus on serving sizes.

"Still try to keep it balanced," she said.

The government recommended serving plate can keep you in check. Some items to avoid include turkey skin, gravy and starchy-veggies. Instead Dietz says reach for green beans, broccoli, carrots and cabbage.

Still, most everyone's weakness comes at the end of the meal.

"Desserts. Chocolates," said Barbara Pleasant, a Danville resident.

"Especially with a wife who is a good cook but I just try to stay away from a lot of desserts," said Tommy Hodges, a Danville resident.

"For people who love desserts, this is really really tough," said Dietz.

Account for the sweets during the feast.

"Think about well I'm going to do without the bread or I'm going to do without the cranberry sauce to fit the dessert calories into the meal," said Dietz.

And try to work off some of the extra calories you may be consuming.

"The next day instead of saying I'm going to starve myself today. That's no fun, nobody likes to do that, say I'm going to walk a little bit longer," said Dietz.

Another high-calorie item that many people don't consider is alcohol. Make sure that you account for those calories as well during your meal. But most of all enjoy Thanksgiving and don't deprive yourself of items you love, just do it in smaller portions.