How to Reduce Your Calories for Thanksgiving

UnknownRene Ficek, RD, CDE of Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating reminds us that Thanksgiving Day is about giving thanks, spending time with family, and most importantly, avoiding a food coma! See below for 8 ways to gobble up turkey dinner without overdoing it.


Readers can follow Rene’s tips to feel satisfied and energized the whole day long:

Eat a breakfast full of protein and fiber to keep your energy up throughout the day.  Then, come dinner time, you’ll be able to fight the urge to fill your plate with hundreds, if not thousands, of calories.

Follow the plate method. When passing around the delicious meals divide your plate accordingly: ½ vegetables, fruit or a whole wheat roll, ¼ potatoes and ¼ meats.  Low calorie and dense foods, like leafy greens, carrots and bell peppers will fill you up, without feeling tired or bloated.

Drink lots of water throughout the entire day to lower your risk of overeating.

Get active after the meal!  A nice, long walk or a game of football with your family will get your metabolism going.


Fulfill your Thanksgiving dinner expectations without overdoing it on calories with Rene’s four simple food swaps:

  • Turkey breast with homemade cranberry sauce instead of dark turkey meat with gravy
  • Roasted potatoes instead of turkey stuffing
  • Pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie
  • Baked sweet potato wedges instead of mashed potatoes

Have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

(…be sure to have your pumpkin pie and eat it too)

Meet Rene Ficek, RD, LDN, CDE
Rene Ficek is SSHE’s lead nutrition expert and representative for Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE).

Ficek oversees various aspects of menu development, ensuring each SSHE meal complies with USDA and FDA “healthy regulation guidelines.” In addition, she educates management staff on specialized “diets,” researches and implements new nutrition guidelines and provides nutrition education to clients.

Ficek received a Bachelor of Science degree in Food & Nutrition from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2006. She obtained her Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist certificates in September 2010 from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and in November 2013 earned a Certified Diabetes Educator certificate.


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