What does one do on Thanksgiving? Well, of course get together with family and friends.  No problem there, except if your ex or boss somehow shows up. On the other hand, too much food and drink can lead you  to Tums and Tylenol (the two T cocktail) and to the promises about how next time you’ll stop after your second helping and or cocktail.

How about in advance anticipating the dangers and thus walking away from the family gathering with a tolerable intake of food and drink?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

To begin with try stepping up the exercise now or if you haven’t started yet try a walk for a half hour or so.  More caloric output (exercise) equals less guilt for the upcoming meal. Drink plenty of water, as water tends to fill the stomach and results in less additional food intake.  If you drink alcohol, consider filling that glass only with about half the amount as usual.  Limit the number of glasses to two-make each glass last by sipping rather than gulping.

Specific suggestions for the meal are:

Try making the gravy with less butter. If you reduce the butter by even a third the taste difference will be small and the reduction of calories large.  Better yet, mix that turkey with cranberries,  which although sugary have no fat and contain many vitamins.

Hold the butter on the mashed potatoes-instead a little salt. If you have green beans or other vegetables, add spices or parmesan cheese rather than butter. Forget the chips, which although tasty are empty calories, void of most nutritional content.

Eat a lot of salad with just a little dressing  Salad dressing slopped on the salad not only ruins the nice, crispy texture of the salad, it also piles on wasted calories. Croutons may be nice but are not necessary for a tasty salad.  Try apple or pear slices instead.

Cut the pie into twice as many slices as usual.  This way each person will get a smaller, more calorie friendly portion.

The overall strategy should be eat slowly which fills you up more quickly; drink more water and hold your horses for that second or God forbid third portion!  As you shovel the grub in, imagine how many additional minutes on the stairmaster would be necessary to undo the caloric fest you have just caused.  You don’t have to be anorexic-just sensible.

Have a great holiday!