Schorin Strategies

Portion control and other strategies to manage calories during the holidays

Portion control during the holidays

Hear, here!  Time for the annual festival that has no religious or patriotic significance.  Thanksgiving is just about the food.  According to Tara Parker Pope of The New York Times, the average person eats about 4,500 calories on that day alone.  Our attitude is that, for this one day, we will forgo all of the usual constraints on eating, including the internal cues that tell us we’re full.

Afterward, we are engulfed with guilt and remorse.  We blame the company, the alcohol, a particular family member, or something else entirely.  Nonetheless, the feeling does little to bolster self-esteem.

This year, do something different.  Craft a strategy that allows you to indulge, but still feel good.  What it requires is some pre-planning.

Just as you and your family or friends plan who brings what to the meal, you can plan what and how much to eat.  Think of it as your C-O-P plan.

First, decide your calories.  It can still be generous; you don’t need to be a minimalist.  You might want to allow yourself 2,000 or 2,500 calories.  Well above your usual careful plan, but nothing like the all-out pig-athon.

Then, focus on your food options.  Do you want a taste of everything or a chance to savor those once-in-a-while dishes?  Your mouth may water for Aunt Sally’s sweet potato casserole.  Or the turkey stuffing could make you swoon.  Write down what you want to do.

Finally, consider the portion size of each that keeps you in your calorie range.  You might not have exact amounts, but ballpark each item, and make your list in advance.  Use the chart here to get a good idea of the calorie cost.

Take a copy of a portion size guide* with you so that you can sneak a peek when no one is watching.  It helps you remember your plan. ** Advance prep greatly improves your chance for success. 

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you.  On Thanksgiving day, it’s also a good way to take a break from a person or question that irritates you.  Push yourself from the table, even if it means just taking a walk around the house.

Let the festivities begin.  You are ready with a strategy and the tactics to succeed.

 

*Portion size guides can be found on many websites.  A few choices include: http://diettogo.com/data/fe/image/portion-control-chart-with-calories1(1).gif

MD Anderson Medical Center has a portion guide just for Thanksgiving foods: http://coastalcancercenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/thanksgiving-servingsize-web.jpg

The helpful folks at Sparkpeople also have a portion guide: http://www.sparkpeople.com/news/genericpictures/tgivinginfograph.jpg

 

 

Drinks:

 

Calories

 

1 mixed drink

250

 

1 glass wine

120

 

1 cup coffee with cream and sugar

50

 

1 glass cider or sparkling grape juice

120

 

1 cup eggnog

343

 

Snacks:

 

 

1 celery stalk with cream cheese

45

 

1 cracker with cheese

70

 

½ cup mixed raw vegetables

25

 

½ cup mixed nuts

440

 

½ cup fresh fruit

60

 

1 ounce tortilla or potato chips

150

 

1 tablespoon dip for chips

75

 

Salads:

 

 

3 cups salad with diet dressing

100

 

1 tablespoon ranch dressing

75

 

½ cup gelatin with fruit

120

 

½ cup waldorf salad

110

 

Main Course:

 

 

6 ounces cured ham

300

 

6 ounces white and dark turkey

340

 

6 ounces prime rib

330

 

½ cup stuffing

180

 

½ cup cranberry sauce

190

 

½ cup mashed potatoes

150

 

½ cup gravy

150

 

1 baked potato with sour cream

150

 

½ cup green bean casserole

225

 

½ cup sautéed green beans

50

 

½ cup candied sweet potatoes

150

 

1 dinner roll

110

 

1 pat butter

45

 

Dessert:

 

 

2 chocolate mints

60

 

2 small chocolate chip cookies

150

 

1 piece apple pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)

410

 

1 piece pecan pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)

480

 

1 piece pumpkin pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)

180

 

½ cup whipped cream

75

 

½ cup ice cream

145

 

1 small piece fudge

70

 

 

Leftovers:

 

 

1 turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce

450

 

1 open-face turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy

290