Over the next few days, many Americans will get together with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. While the traditional turkey and stuffing are in order, it is important to remember what comes along with the Thanksgiving feast: 4,500 calories.

Over the next few days, many Americans will get together with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. While the traditional turkey and stuffing are in order, it is important to remember what comes along with the Thanksgiving feast: 4,500 calories.


That is the estimate of how much the average person will consume during the traditional Thanksgiving meal, according to the Calorie Control Council. That is more than twice the recommended daily calories for an average adult.


It is possible to avoid the annual holiday weight gain, however.


Nutritionists at the California Pacific Medical Center warn not to set holiday weight-loss goals too high. Instead, they advise people to focus on maintaining rather than losing weight. Over setting goals can lead to unneeded stress, which can contribute to weight gain rather than loss. Regular, everyday exercise can burn off calories, and carries the added benefit of reducing stress as well.


Also, do not skip meals. This can lead to unintended overeating when you do finally eat, and can also lead to unnecessary stress. However, if you do overeat on one meal, reducing your calories on the next can help keep you on track.


Before a holiday party, be sure to eat a small, healthy meal. This can help reduce urges to over eat during the party. Additionally, pick out healthy choices like fruits and vegetables from party buffets over heavier meats and other fatty dishes.


It is also important to take into account not just what you are eating, but also what you are drinking over the holidays. Many festive holiday drinks are surprisingly high in calories. In addition, alcohol can lower inhibitions, which can lead to overeating.


Nutritionists at the CPMC also have tips for taking holiday classics and making them healthier with small changes to the recipe. For example, simply removing the skin from turkey can remove 11 grams of saturated fat from a 3 oz. serving. Using 2 percent milk instead of whole milk in recipes is another way to keep the calories down.


Refrigerating and skimming the fat off of holiday gravy can remove a significant portion of the fat from the dish, as well.


Perhaps, by using these pieces of advice, it is possible to celebrate the holidays without feeling the need to make weight loss one of your New Year’s goals come January.


Happy birthday Tuesday to Jason Ratcliff and Rosemary Witt, both of Denison; Gail Grigg and John Mark Lavender, both of Sherman; Khloe Orten of Rowlett; Bill Hall of Luella; Billy Hardin of Tom Bean; Linda Hynds of Van Alstyne; Kiry Davis.