The holiday season is here! It’s time for joy, merriment, and food. Lots and LOTS of food. While this time of year is in fact (in my opinion) the most wonderful time of the year, the reality is the holiday season can strike fear into the hearts of anyone trying to lose weight. I am here to tell you that all it takes to make it through our holiday meals is a little bit of planning ahead. My friends, just because you’re on a diet does not mean you can’t have your favorite holiday dishes. I firmly believe in “everything in moderation.” The first major day of eating is right around the corner, and we need to get our hearts, minds, and plans ready to embrace the day feeling empowered to stay on track.
One of the most important things you can do is to have an idea of the Bites values of what you’re eating. Today I have a Thanksgiving cheat sheet for you which gives you the general Bites values for some Thanksgiving dinner table staples.
This next part is important: The values presented below are general guidelines and might not be completely accurate to the specific recipe that you are consuming. Obviously, if you want the most accurate representation of your Thanksgiving feast it is your job to plug in the recipes to the iTrackBites recipe builder, use the nutrition information from your specific ingredients, and measure your servings. If that’s what you want to do, that’s wonderful. Go for it! I do know for many people, the thought of putting so much work into tracking their Thanksgiving meal is pretty much the last thing they want to do. That’s where my cheat sheet comes in handy. While it might not be accurate down to the Bite for your dishes, having a generalized idea about the Bites values of your food gives you a much larger advantage than having no idea at all.
Using the list below you can roughly plan out your plate, add things to your tracker, and at least put a solid effort into staying on track this Thanksgiving. I firmly truly that some effort will always be better than no effort at all, so take a look, track accordingly, and have a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal.
Note: The two iTrackBites plans reflected here are Carb Conscious which tracks BitesPLUS (BP) and Sugar Smart which tracks BitesSMART (BS). Some items are the same BS value for the Better Balance plan, but not all. Use your own discretion when tracking Better Balance.
-3oz light meat with skin= 3 BP / 3 BS
-3oz breast, skinless= 2 BP / 1 BS
-3oz giblets, white or dark meat, no skin= 3 BP / 2 BS
-3oz dark meat, with skin= 5 BP / 4 BS
-Spiral 3oz= 3 BP / 4 BS
-Honey baked, bone-in, 3 oz= 3 BP / 3 BS
-Turkey gravy, canned 2 Tbsp= 0 BP / BS
-Gravy, brown 2 Tbsp= 1BP / 2 BS
-Stuffing 1/2 cup bread, from mix, prepared= 5 BP / 6 BS
-Corn 1/2 cup cooked kernels= 2 BP / 2 BS
-Green bean casserole 1 cup 6 BP / 7 BS *It varies a lot by recipe.*
-Sweet potatoes 1/2 cup mashed= 5 BP/BS
-Cranberry sauce 2Tbsp canned= 2 BP / 3 BS
-Mashed potatoes 1/2 cup= 3 BP/BS
-Biscuit alone (varies greatly): 3 BP / 4 BS
-Butter (1 tbsp): 3 BP / 5 BS -Cornbread 1 slice, from mix, prepared= 5 BP / 7 BS
-Corn casserole 1/4 cup= 5 BP / 7 BS
-Sweet potato casserole 1/2 cup= 6 BP / 9 BS
-Creamed corn 1/2 cup canned= 3 BP/BS
-Green Giant Creamed spinach 1/2 cup= 2 BP / 3 BS
-Scalloped potatoes 1/2 cup= 5BP / 4 BS
-Roasted potatoes 1/2 cup= 4 BP / 2 BS
-Brussel sprouts with bacon 2/3 cup= 4 BP / 3 BS
-Macaroni and cheese 1/2 cup= 5 BP / 7 BS
-Sausage stuffing 1/2 cup= 5 BP / 6 BS
-Apple cake 1 slice= 5 BP / 10 BS
-Pumpkin pie 1 slice= 8 BP / 13 BS
-2 Tbsp whipped topping= 1 BP/BS
-Fruit pie 1 slice= 11 BP / 13 BS
-Fruit salad 1 serving (red and green apples, 2Tbsp dried cranberries, 2Tbsp pecan halves)= 4 BP / 6 BS
-Cheesecake 1 slice= 11 BP / 18 BS
-Pecan pie 1 slice= 14 BP / 21 BS
-Wine 5oz= 4 BP/BS
-Mixed drinks 5oz vodka cranberry=5 BP /6 BS
-Beer 12oz= 5 BP/BS
-Punch 8oz fruit punch= 3 BP / 7 BS
-Soda 8oz sweetened= 3 BP / 6 BS
-Iced tea 8oz sweetened= 3 BP / 5 BS
-Water 8oz= 0! 💦Drink ALL the water 💦
I know this doesn’t cover all of the Thanksgiving goodies and I know many recipes will yield different numbers, but these numbers are safe to use to keep a general eye on what you’re eating on Thanksgiving. Now you’re informed which means you have the power (and no longer have any excuses) to keep track of your Thanksgiving meal and begin your holiday season on track.
Now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite thing on the Thanksgiving table? Mine is my sister in law’s sinfully delicious sweet potato casserole. Mmmmmm.