The great plate

Recipes, tips, and tricks for a happy (and healthy) Thanksgiving!
Published September 28, 2016


Few holidays are as food-focused as Thanksgiving. (We call it Turkey Day, for gobble sake!) From the bird to the buttered rolls to the creamy, cheesy sides, holiday temptation abounds. So your go-to weight-loss strategies — like having a nutritious and energizing breakfast or chewing gum while cooking — might need a few reinforcements. A little advance planning (call it a "plate rehearsal") and a few SmartPoints® value calculations can be just what you need to feel more relaxed, in control and ready to enjoy all the day has to offer.

The great plate game plan

Setting a smart strategy for Thanksgiving is about more than making a list of foods you plan to eat (along with their corresponding SmartPoints values). Think about adding a few of these simple maneuvers to your playbook.

  • Build a budget. Consider your weekly SmartPoints Allowance and decide how you want to factor it into your Turkey Day budget. Don't forget to leave some flexibility for splurges, like a piece of grandma's irresistible pie.
  • Plan your plate. This is the time to consider tricks like loading up on veggies. Or whether you'll have a serving of stuffing or mashed potatoes. (Or perhaps a half-serving of both?) If you're not hosting the meal, call whoever is to get a sneak peek at the menu. Volunteer to prep a SmartPoints friendly dish for the feast; get some tasty ideas from our site.
  • Bring an anchor along. If you're worried about wavering from your plan, bring a small item (a picture, a goal written on a piece of paper, a Bravo star from your weekly meeting) you can keep in your pocket or place discreetly near your plate that will remind you of why you're making smart choices in the first place.
  • Don't be a pushover. You may be "encouraged" to try aunt Grace's famous stuffing or cousin Tom's special pumpkin pie. If you've accounted for these foods (or you're fine with eating and tracking them), then by all means, enjoy! But if you really don't want something, just picture yourself choosing foods that match your pre-planned plate and then politely and confidently refuse whatever you don't want. You can always ask to take a serving home to eat "when you're not so full." (What you do with it once you're home is your decision!)
  • Take a post-turkey trot. As soon as you're finished eating, excuse yourself from the table. The longer you linger, the more enticing those picked-over, half-empty platters and bowls will look. Invite guests for a stroll around the neighbourhood. It'll offer you a nice opportunity to catch up with friends and family, as well as help you digest your meal, and score a few activity SmartPoints values.
  • Track, track, track. Pre-tracking is one of the best strategies to help you stay on course because it's easier to make healthy decisions when you're not staring at tempting food. In the morning, pre-track all your meals for the day. Even if you end up eating more than you planned — track it! Accountability (not perfection) is key.
  • Liberate leftovers. If you're the host, you'll probably have leftovers. So, if you won't be able to sleep knowing that there's half a pie in the kitchen, freeze leftovers immediately or give your guests doggie bags to take home.

However you choose to tackle Turkey Day, keep in mind that it's just one day. Savor the moments with your friends and family. Take time to reflect on the things that really matter. And remember that tomorrow you'll wake up with a clean slate.