Did you know that the average American gains 1 to 3 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day every year? According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, Americans add on an average of 0.7% of their weight during the holiday season. While there are numerous tasty treats to enjoy during the holiday season, if you’re not careful in trying to stay fit and focusing on healthy habits, you may be experiencing weight gain during the holiday season. This is why we determined a few of the Thanksgiving dishes to stay away from if you want to avoid belly fat this holiday season.
In order to determine the Thanksgiving dishes to avoid for belly fat, we consulted Dr. Myles Spar, the chief medical officer of Vault Health—a telehealth startup offering personalized direct-to-consumer prescription treatments and testosterone replacement therapy to help men achieve optimal physical, sexual, and cognitive health.
Here are a few of the Thanksgiving dishes to avoid so you don’t gain any extra belly fat this season, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
“You’re essentially chowing down on bread, butter, and sometimes sausage. Did I mention butter? And if you use the packaged stuffing, know that it’s designed to stuff you full of salt, trans fats, and overly processed junk,” says Dr. Spar.
“Perhaps a more obvious answer since it’s a dessert, but pumpkin pie has more ingredients than just healthy pumpkin. The crust’s butter and flour, along with cream and sugar required for the filling, make for a large dose of saturated fat and calories,” says Dr. Spar.
Instead, why not whip up one of these 73+ Best Healthy Dessert Recipes for Weight Loss?
“As with many Thanksgiving side dishes, the main culprits in mashed potatoes are the add-ins (in this case, whole milk and butter). Some recipes even call for cream cheese or shredded cheese too. Try going easy on the butter and use low-fat milk to keep the nutrition in check,” says Dr. Spar.
You may want to step away from these Unhealthiest Thanksgiving Side Dishes as well.
“Dark turkey meat contains too much fat to be considered lean, healthy meat— even more so when the fatty skin is left on. I know, it’s a delicious part of your Thanksgiving meal, but try swapping a piece for white meat and your belly will thank you later,” says Dr. Spar.
“Without any healthy tweaks, biscuits are essentially flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk or cream. That’s a large number of calories for little nutritional value and little satiety. And chances are, you’re topping that biscuit with butter, gravy, or jelly,” says Dr. Spar.
Instead, keep your sides light, like with our Healthy Take On the Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe.