The Turkey Day countdown to Thanksgiving is here. Do you dread the holiday season, dieters? If you’re watching your weight or trying to lose weight, the holiday trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas New Year’s Eve can take derail the best laid diet plans. Maybe you observe Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Epiphany–well, they all involve feasting. If you’ve lost a lot of weight, you know that it’s important not to waste your hard work on holiday binges. Here are diet Thanksgiving turkey recipes and light low calorie holiday meats recipes for weight loss (or at least weight maintenance).
Thanksgiving ham vs. turkey: Reduced fat ham is lower in calories and fat than turkey, but higher in sodium. Unfortunately, that so-delish honey baked spiral ham does not count as low calorie! Ham has more preservatives and additives, too. Ham is a processed meat and as such has been found to be as carcinogenic as cigarettes. If you must have it at Thanksgiving or Christmas, look for bonanza hams and read nutrition labels. You can also make thanksgiving turkey recipes lighter and lower in calories. Choose free range turkey for the healthiest Thanksgiving game bird option.
Diet Thanksgiving turkey recipes and game bird options. Game bird alternatives to turkey include duck, Cornish game hen and goose. All of these are generally fattier than turkey or chicken. Look for a low calorie turkey and game bird options that are not pre-basted. Stick to white meat over dark meat. Substitute lowfat or olive oil pan spray for basting. Keep it light, high in monounsaturated fatty acids and low in transfat and saturated fat. Use olive, safflower, coconut or sunflower oil. Try truffle oil spray for a rich, non-greasy basting oil.
Replace salt with seasonings in Thanksgiving turkey and game bird recipes. All too often, cooks rely too heavily on salt and pepper. And overuse of sodium throws off the diet just like bad fat. Packaged food contain off the charts amounts of sodium. Try these delicious herbs and spices on your diet Thanksgiving turkey: sage, rosemary, cracked pepper, multi-colored pepper blend, turmeric, marjoram, celery seed, onion, garlic and herbes de Provence. Replace salt with healthier sodium sources like sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, saffron salt, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, lemon or lime juice, balsamic vinegar or acai vinegar. Skip greasy drippings and make gravy with MSG-free, low sodium vegetable broth or Bragg’s Liquid Amino. Try Better than Bouillon vegetable soup base. Make mushroom or onion gravy. Nix the flour and use corn starch in gravy recipes, for a smooth, rich, low calorie gravy.