Eat With Your Hands: Turkey Day Portion Control

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, most of us are looking forward to heaps of thick cut turkey and homemade pie (at least I am). With all of the family festivities and homemade treats also comes the possibility of a little weight gain.

“While I am at school I limit and calorie count. However, when I go home it is much harder with my family. I’ll just consider it my ‘cheat day’,” says Junior Danielle Politano when asked about her preparation for the big feast.

The main cause of the overeating is our lack of portion control. The average person consumes 1,500 calories during Thanksgiving dinner, according to the American Dietetic Association.

With all of the choices that will be available on turkey day, sometimes our eyes can be bigger than our stomach. But don’t worry: Valley is here to help you during the holidays this year with some portion control tips.

To prevent piling up your plate too much, the only reference that you need is your hand when figuring out how much is too much.

Flatten your hand and face it up. The size of your open palm is the recommended serving size for one portion of meat.

Fruits and Veggies
While fresh fruits and veggies are going to be the healthiest option at Thanksgiving, a closed fist is one serving.

“Fill half your plate with low calorie and leafy green vegetables,” says Lynn Parker Klees, a dietician.

Also, watch out for the added butter and oils that may be lurking!

Whether it is pasta, rice or homemade stuffing, you can prevent the carbohydrate build up by cupping your hand and use that to reference the recommended serving.

Cake and Pie
While there is no better way to finish off Thanksgiving than with a thick slice of fresh pumpkin pie from Grandma, watch out when cutting your piece. Just put your three middle fingers together and line it up with the bottom of the pie crust, and slice for the perfect portion.

With a little self-control and by being cautious about how much you put on your plate, you won’t have to worry about gaining those extra pounds or unbuttoning your pants at the end of the meal.

“Remember it is only one meal and you can have leftovers rather than treating the meal like you will never see the foods offered again,” Klees recommends. “Above all, eat slowly and mindfully and actually enjoy your food with the company of your family.”

Photo by Ashley Milillo

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