by Marina Andalon

The holiday seasons are full of delicious dishes and treats, but no one likes the extra calories and weight that comes with the seasonal food.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Americans tend to gain weight by 0.2% during the Thanksgiving holiday and 0.4% weight gain over Christmas.

Many people indulge and enter a ‘food coma’ from over eating on the gut-busting holiday.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated since 1863, and was created to celebrate the Pilgrims and their first harvest in the New World. Today many Americans have shaped the holiday to focus on sharing a meal with family, friends, and cooking; particularly the big turkey. “An estimated 46 million turkeys were eaten in the U.S. on Thanksgiving in 2012,” said CNN reporters Toby Lyles and Amy Roberts.

So how can us beach city residents avoid the Thanksgiving weight gain?

Increase your workout routine days in advance, go on a hike, take a jog on the beach, or go for a walk around the city.

Many people believe it makes more sense to save room and calories for the big feast, but various research studies show that eating a small meal in the morning will give you more control throughout the day.

Before the delicious meal, fill up on water, the more water you drink the less likely you are to overeat.

Hosting dinner, do your best to make the recipe healthy. Use fat free chicken broth to caste the turkey, reduce the amount of oil and butter wherever possible. Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar, better yet try plain yogurt or fat free sour cream in creamy dips mashed with potatoes.

Before rushing the table of beautiful displays of Thanksgiving favorites, decide what you are going to choose. Limit yourself to one plate along with selecting reasonable sized portions of foods.

Susan Dopart, Dietitian, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. and author of “A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian”, provided some insightful information.

For people who want to stay on track with their healthy habits during the holidays Dopart suggest, “A general answer would be go for the turkey, and the vegetable, watching the portion sizes and limiting carbs and sugars.”

You can reduce the overeating and prevent the damage that Thanksgiving can cause to your diet by going with the healthy Thanksgiving holiday plate.

Lighten up your thanksgiving dinner by following this plate sample.

A three to four ounce piece of turkey with no skin, half a cup of mashed potatoes with whole milk, half a cup of candied yams, half a cup of stuffing, one biscuit, and one cup of brussels sprouts, and maybe even a glass of champagne you will be under 800 calories.

“Getting rest is important, and protein is always a good idea. Watch out for the alcohol, as that is the gateway to overeating,” Dopart said. “It is possible to lose weight during this time. It depends on how willing someone is, and keeping the goals in mind is the key. “