Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and of course pumpkin pie … and going back for seconds. It’s a national tradition. Thanksgiving is a day that’s all about eating. At the start of the holiday season, you promise yourself you won’t overdo it but unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to over indulge. So while you might enjoy every bite that passes your lips on Turkey Day, chances are you’ll spend the day feeling over-full, lethargic and regretting that you allowed yourself to eat way too much. In order to keep your waistline trim, limit portion sizes when enjoying Thanksgiving dinner or leftovers. Being mindful of the amount you put on your plate can help you avoid unwanted calories.

This year, learn the correct portion sizes of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes — still allowing you to indulge but preventing you from feeling sick once the meal is over. The following foods are some traditional favorites with recommended serving amounts and visuals to help you determine what you’ll choose to eat during Thanksgiving dinner. As the food goes around the table or you go through the buffet line, keep these guidelines in mind to make sure you don’t get too much of a good thing.

  • Turkey — serving size: 3 ounces (about the size of one deck of cards); choose white meat over dark to save calories and skip the skin to save even more calories.

  • Salad — serving size: 1 cup (about the size of a baseball)

  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes — serving size: ½ cup (about the size of a standard ice cream scoop)

  • Gravy — serving size: ¼ cup (about the size of a golf bar)

  • Stuffing — serving size: ½ cup (about the size of a standard ice cream scoop)

  • Cranberry sauce — serving size: ¼ cup (about the size of a golf ball)

  • Green bean casserole — serving size: 1 cup (about the size of a baseball)

  • Dinner roll — Serving size one small roll (about the size of a computer mouse)

  • Butter — Serving size 1 teaspoon (about the size of one dice)

  • Pumpkin pie — Serving size 1/8 of a 9-inch pie (think standard light bulb); keep in mind that pumpkin pie is much lower in calories than pecan or apple

  • Vanilla ice cream — serving size: ½ cup (fits into a small cupcake wrapper)

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, be grateful and enjoy the company of loved ones. You don’t have to go overboard to celebrate and enjoy this special holiday. By sticking with the recommended servings you’ll be able to take part in the tradition without feeling guilty and overstuffed. Your waistline and your stomach will thank you and you may just find that you really don’t have to pour gravy over your candied sweet potatoes after all!

I hope you and your family have a very festive, safe and healthy Thanksgiving!