Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

November 23, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Thanksgiving is almost here! Along with the traditional Thanksgiving feast, often comes the traditional weight gain. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage everyone to make this the year that you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without adding on extra pounds.

"On average, Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. While this isn't a big weight gain, research shows it tends to 'stick' and add up over the years," said Dr. Ruppert.

Try these tips to avoid adding on those extra pounds while enjoying Thanksgiving:

  • Color is the key to a healthy plate - when planning your menu don't forget these fall favorites: pumpkin, butternut squash, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens!
  • Consider serving fewer appetizers; avoid heavy, cream-based dips. Instead of crackers or chips, offer cut-up vegetables with yogurt.
  • Don't try to save calories by skipping a meal, especially breakfast. You'll likely be very hungry, forget to make healthier choices, and add more calories.
  • Try roasted garlic or hummus as a spread instead of butter.
  • Make reduced-fat mashed potatoes using chicken stock, low-fat buttermilk, or even the water the potatoes were boiled in, instead of cream.
  • Reduce the amount of fat (oil, butter and so on) used to sauté vegetables. Use cooking spray or a tablespoon or two of olive oil, adding a little water or wine if the vegetables begin to stick.
  • Consider serving steamed vegetables instead of vegetables with cheese sauce and other high fat sauces.
  • Reduce the fat in your homemade gravy by skimming the fat from the broth you use.
  • Serve the turkey with the skin removed.
  • Bake the stuffing in a separate pan instead of cooking it inside the bird. (The turkey drippings that seep into the stuffing can be fatty). Eliminate sausage from your stuffing recipe, or reduce the amount of sausage by half or add a fruit such as a diced apple or dried apricots.
  • Take your time and eat slowly, then you may not need to go back for seconds; instead you'll save some room for a nice slice of pumpkin pie!
  • When you're a guest with health in mind, offer to bring what you like! It's less work for the host and since it's healthy why not share!
  • Consider serving two types of seasonal desserts instead of several different ones that often are not eaten except by you in the days that follow.
  • Serve a fruit dessert instead of, or in addition to, the typical pies. For example, serve baked fruit with a topping of cinnamon and sugar. (Pie crust has a lot of fat, typically much more than the pie filling).
  • Share your leftovers with guests. Have your guest take home leftovers
  • Make exercise a part of your Thanksgiving tradition. Go for a brisk walk before guests arrive, or as a group activity after the meal. Or throw a football around outside instead of being a couch potato and watching football on TV all afternoon!

For recipes that are simple, delicious and nutritious visit