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Don't overgobble this Thanksgivukkah

MAYWOOD, Ill. - In a rare occurrence, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both happen to fall on Nov. 28 this year. This coming holiday many will find it very hard not to overindulge in old favorites and newly invented culinary creations. Here are a few tips so that you won's overgobble this Thanksgivukkay from Brooke Schantz, a registered dietitian at Loyola University Health System:

Offer to bring a healthy dish to a party. Not only will you have even more healthy options to choose from, but the host will think you are being very thoughtful. Check with the host to see if they need someone to bring a salad, vegetable tray or non-starchy side dish.

Don’t go to a party hungry. Saving your calories up for the big meal is not beneficial for your waistline and will only lead to overeating. Don’t skip breakfast, just have a smaller one, and, if possible, add in a healthy snack before you leave for the party. Consuming a small snack before attending a party will help prevent overconsumption. Preparty snack ideas include raw vegetables, a small piece of fruit, one cup of low-fat yogurt, one cheese stick or ¼ cup of unsalted nuts.

Remember to drink water. Drinking water will help you feel full and keep you hydrated. Have one to two glasses of water before your big meal and take a sip of water in between each bite to slow you down.

Watch your portions. Use your fist (about one cup) to measure one serving of fruit. Use a cupped hand (about 1/2 cup) to measure out those starch servings like corn casserole, mashed potatoes or stuffing. Your palm is the perfect guide for determining the right amount of turkey, fish, etc., to add to your plate.

Preplan. Going to a holiday party with a battle plan is a great way to keep those portions in check. Find out what is being offered at those holiday gatherings and decide what you should include on your healthy holiday plate.

Fill half your plate with vegetables. Want to take the edge off of your hunger pains or the urge to overeat? Fill half your plate with vegetables except for corn, potatoes and peas. Eating your vegetables first will fill up your stomach and ease the urge to mindlessly eat.

Make time for exercise. In addition to your regular physical activity, go for a family walk, run a turkey trot the morning of your holiday party or go to the gym. Exercise is a great way to get your energy levels up and offset those additional holiday calories.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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Nora Plunkett
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