SOURCE: Retrofit


November 22, 2016 11:51 ET

'Retrofit' Your Thanksgiving to Set Yourself Up for Success

Retrofit Expert Coaches Weigh In on How to Have a Healthier Holiday Season

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - November 22, 2016) - Gravy-laden turkey, buttery mashed potatoes and homemade pecan pie may grace the tables of many this Thanksgiving. So what are we to do about our waistlines?

Lead behavior coach Jennifer Plotnek, LCSWC, from Retrofit, a leading provider of weight-management and disease-prevention programs, suggests 'Retrofitting' your Thanksgiving for a healthier holiday season.

Try the turkey trot. Start the day with movement by going for a walk, hitting the gym or signing up for the local turkey trot. Remember, some movement is better than no movement.

Start with the most important meal of the day. Be sure to eat breakfast and stay in your rhythm of eating balanced meals and snacks every 3 to 4 hours.

Don't skip the snacks to leave room for all the fixings. Take the edge off hunger by having a protein and produce snack before you dine. This will help keep you mindful and prevent you from overeating at dinner.

Retrofit your recipes. Modify your favorite recipes to reduce excess calories from fat and sugar and boost nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy. Reduce the amount of sugar or use substitutes and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods. Reduce oil and butter wherever you can. Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles. Choose brown rice or whole-grain bread over refined and add extra veggies such as celery, mushrooms and onions to stuffing. Serve a vegetable tray, fresh fruit or a salad for light and fiber rich, low-calorie starter. If drinking alcohol, alternate with water to help slow your pace, remain hydrated and limit alcohol calories.

Survey the buffet table before filling your plate. Decide to eat reasonable portions of the foods you love. Don't waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long. Create a balanced plate of 50 percent produce, 25 percent lean protein and 25 percent whole grains/starchy veggies.

Find a place to sit and savor. Aim to sit as far away from the buffet as possible. Studies have shown, the further you are from the food, the less likely you are to get up for more.

Be mindful during your meal. Take the time to enjoy the presentation, aromas, flavors and textures of your meal. Slow your pace of eating, allow your mind to register your satiety (about 20 minutes) before making the decision to go back for more.

Create a "speed bump" halfway through the meal. Stop and assess your hunger. Make conversation, stretch or take a few deep breaths. Then decide how much more you plan to eat to feel satisfied but not stuffed. When you finish eating, move away from the table and focus on company and conversation not the food.

Use the three-bite rule for dessert. Get maximum enjoyment from the foods you love without feeling overly full or regretful about overindulging by savoring the taste within a safe, three-bite limit.

Focus on Family and Friends. Thanksgiving is not just about the traditional meal. It's a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.

Practice gratitude long after the turkey dinner is done. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on the blessings in your life. By practicing gratitude, you may experience a sense of empowerment and positivity that can play a crucial role in your weight-management goals.

About Retrofit

Retrofit offers weight management solutions that help employers tackle obesity and deliver proven outcomes and lasting results. Ninety percent of participants lose weight and 68 percent keep it off 18 months later. Retrofit clients also are two times more satisfied than those on other weight-loss programs, according to a recent client satisfaction survey. Retrofit attributes its success to five key factors: 1) a scientifically based program design; 2) highly credentialed experts who drive a personalized experience and true engagement; 3) a multi-disciplinary, high-tech/high-touch approach; 4) the adaptability of the program to integrate or run discreetly within organizations' broader wellness ecosystems, and 5) "happiness delivered" with proven outcomes that transform lives and workplaces. For more information, visit Also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter at @retrofitme.

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