Mentally preparing for Thanksgiving

by Christine on November 23rd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I want to take a few moments to mentally prepare for the day insofar as “what and how much food will I eat?”

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that busting your calorie budget on Thanksgiving can be incredibly easy to do. Assuming a typical Thanksgiving feast…

6 oz white and dark meat turkey = 340 calories
1/2 cup of stuffing = 180 calories
1/2 cup mashed potatoes = 150 calories or more
1/2 cup gravy = 150 calories
1/2 cup candied sweet potatoes = 150 calories
2 dinner rolls = 220 calories
Butter for those rolls = 50 calories
1/2 cup green beans = 50 calories
1 glass wine = 120 calories
1 piece pumpkin pie = 200 calories

That’s a whopping 1600 calories for a meal that has “reasonable” portion sizes. Wowza! And that doesn’t even account for 2nd helpings, pre-dinner snacks, football snacks, etc. Talk about easy to break that calorie budget!  That’s two days worth of calories for me!

So in my mind, it’s even more important to pre-plan what I’m going to eat. It’s important to me that I get to eat all the stuff I really love even if it’s not really low-calorie, but I’m okay with passing on the stuff that I don’t absolutely love.

I LOVE: turkey. my cranberry sauce.  mashed potatoes and gravy, carrot cake.
Stuff I can go without: stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, pie.

So if I just cut down on my portion sizes, I can still have all the things that I love!

3 oz turkey: 170 calories
1/4 cup mashed potatoes: 75 calories
1/4 cup gravy:  75 calories
1/4 cup cranberry sauce: 60 calories??
Small slice of carrot cake: 150 calories
Water instead of wine

Total calories for the meal, which includes all the stuff that I LOVE, is 530 calories.  That’s higher than 1 average meal for me, but completely reasonable nonetheless. That’ll be my plan!

Do you guys plan ahead with your dinner to make sure you won’t go over your calorie budget? What do you do with the leftovers? How do you make sure that the leftovers don’t break your budget day-after-day for the next week?

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  • Krisztina Foster

    Hi Christine
    That’s clever planning – I’m sure to use it in preparation for my first WLS Christmas!

    And to be honest, I do not envy all you on the States side of the Atlantic: it must be a killer to manage two massive eating events in such quick succession… 

    Good luck – I’m sure your plan will work out just fine!

    And happy thanksgiving! (do you say that? I don’t know…)

  • Karenogle133

    Christine, My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing. It will be easy to go light on everything else and to skip out on some of it but the stuffing is the whole reason I make the meal. I wont be worried too much about calories for this one day but I will be following the pouch rules about protein first and no drinking with my meal. I will skip the dessert and the alcohol and limit the starches. We also have ham so I will try to have ham and turkey to fill me up before I can do much damage with the less healthy stuff. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Myrabaldwin

    I am going to enjoy Thanksgiving. I am not going to let it be the excuse for a week long binge which becomes Christmas is almost here so why bother which becomes wait until after the New Year. Make sure to have others take home the leftovers if at all possible; freeze it in portions for later; take it to a shut in; throw it out. Try to prepare just enough so there won’t be much left might help.