A Portion Control Guide to Thanksgiving

Especially around the holidays people struggle with keeping their weight in check. Here are some recommended serving sizes for traditional Thanksgiving foods. Included are simple descriptive aids and tips to help you figure out how much of each you should consume. These smart strategies will help you keep your portions in check and your pants belt buckled.

Turkey: Serving size – 3 to 4 ounces
One serving is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand (minus your fingers)
Tip: Go for the white meat, avoid the skin and skip the gravy.

Mashed Potatoes: Serving size – ½ cup
One serving is about the size of half a tennis ball or a computer mouse
Tip: Use a small tablespoon to scoop the potatoes onto your plate rather than a large serving spoon.

Stuffing / Serving size – ½ cup
Just like the mashed potatoes, one serving is roughly half the size of a tennis ball or a computer mouse
Tip: If you plan to make it yourself, load your dressing with celery, mushrooms, apples, or other chopped vegetables and cut down on the bread.

Cranberry sauce: Serving size – 1/4 cup
One serving is the size of a golf ball
Tip: Because it’s so tart, you really don’t need more than a tablespoon to add flavor to your turkey.
Candied Yams: Serving size – 1/4 cup
One serving is the size of a golf ball
Tip: Even with this small serving you’ll take in 26g of carbs and 19g of sugar, both hefty amounts for one dish. Skip this one and save the calories for desert.

Pumpkin Pie: Serving size – 1/8 of a 9-inch pie
Make an L with your thumb and index finger. That’s about the size of one slice.
Tip: Share your slice with a spouse or loved one to reduce the caloric impact.

Sugar cookies: Serving size – 1 cookie
I don’t know about you but I can’t have just one cookie.
Tip: Don’t tempt yourself. Save the calories for the pumpkin pie or an extra glass of wine.

Glass of wine: Serving size – 4oz
One serving is equal to about half a bottle of beer.
Tip: Strike up a conversation. Studies have shown that the more we chat in social settings, the less alcohol we’re likely to consume.

Have a wonderful, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

I enjoy developing personal, trusting relationships with my clients.

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