Be satisfied, not stuffed on Thanksgiving | Wear the Gown

We found out how you can eat what you want on Thanksgiving and still be healthy.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – You can have your health and eat your turkey, too.

To give you a heaping helping of advice on eating right this Thanksgiving, Craig O'Neill met with Dietician Jordan Howard and the ER Medical Services Director at St. Vincent, Dr. George Hutchison.

The key to balancing your Thanksgiving diet turned out to be quite simple: portion control.
Howard advised to start your plate with vegetables. Veggies should take up half your plate while turkey should be about one quarter of it. As for dressing?

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"Dressing is just that: it's dressing for your meal. It's not meant to be the main course," said Howard.

Which is why dressing, or rolls or starches, should never be more than a quarter of your plate either. When it comes to desserts, the rule of portion control still applies.

"If you're gonna have a piece of pie, you know, you don't have to hurt your grandma's feelings and not eat the pie," Howard advised. "Split that pie with someone else."

It may seem like a lot of work for a holiday but, according to Dr. Hutchinson, we shouldn't take overeating lightly even on Turkey Day.

"That's the day people eat. So there's lots of things that people do to themselves on Thanksgiving."

Indigestion in people with heart problems brings them to the ER because they fear heart attack. Diabetics' blood sugar levels get out of whack and there are many cases of high blood pressure caused by high salt intake.

To mitigate this, Dr. Hutchinson offered one piece of advice: Back off a little bit.

"Leave the table when you're satisfied, not when you're stuffed. You're not a turkey."

So enjoy your favorite dishes this Thanksgiving just eat in moderation.