Eat smart on Turkey Day and the rest of the holiday season

By Jim McCabe on November 28 at 2:03pm

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Health officials are urging West Central Illinoisans to think about how many servings of their favorite food they’re eating on Thanksgiving.

For people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, Sara Lopinski with the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield says it may help to develop a strategy so you don’t overeat.

“Visualize how you want to feel on January 2nd, and maybe that will help you get through the holiday season a little better,” she says. “Just try to plan better when you’re going to social events so that it’s not a negative situation.”

Lopinski says portion control is a good way to help prevent overeating.

“Nothing is really off-limits, but the portion that you eat is the key. Don’t waste calories on food you don’t really like; save up for those foods that you really want to eat at this time of year, and then limit your portion size,” says Lopinksi.

“Certainly, foods with lots of bulk such as fruits and vegetables will fill you up more without too many calories, and always think about filling half your plate with these foods.”

Lopinski says there aren’t any quick fixes to maintaining a diet during the holidays, but making healthy food choices can help you stay on track. She also says getting plenty of exercise and enjoying social activities may help.

People who have dietary concerns should see their primary care physician or a registered dietician.