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In This Section Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth


Dietitian Recommends Healthy Eating Strategies for Holidays

FORT WORTH, Texas – Stuffing is more than a side dish for many families at Thanksgiving; it is a one-word description of the day. Feasting on turkey, sweet potatoes, grandma's biscuits and pie until the plates are clean and the pants are snug is a common holiday ritual.

Paula Williams, L.D./R.D., clinical dietitian at Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital, recommends concentrating on portion control to avoid overeating and the accompanying weight gain this holiday season. “The goal is to enjoy the comfort food in moderation,” she said.

Williams also recommends the following for enjoying a healthy Thanksgiving meal:

  • Eat smaller amounts at the day's other meals.
  • Avoid heavy gravies and sauces.
  • Fill up on vegetables. 
  • Choose pumpkin pie rather than pecan, which packs more sugar.

Williams also emphasizes the importance of staying active on Thanksgiving Day and during the holidays. “Get up at half-time of the football game and take a walk,” she said. “Exercise will help you offset some of the calories you've eaten.”

For upcoming holiday parties, try sampling items on the buffet rather than eating full portions. “Take a small sample of everything you're interested in on the table so you don't feel deprived,” she said.

Williams also suggests the following healthy eating strategies for holiday parties:

  • Eat some protein, such as nuts, before you go to the party.
  • Avoid fried or cheese covered food.
  • Fill up on items from the vegetable tray. 
  • Choose your beverages carefully; consider switching to diet soda or club soda. 
  • Concentrate on socializing rather than eating.

About Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital
Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital is affiliated with Texas Health Resources and has served the residents of southwest Tarrant County since 1987. A full-service hospital built with its patients in mind, Harris Methodist Southwest offers comprehensive health care services. The personal approach to health care includes 24-hour emergency services, women's services, inpatient and outpatient services, rehabilitation services, diagnostic services and a variety of education classes.

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