Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a chance to bring family together, eat good food and enjoy family traditions. I always love coming into November knowing the holidays will soon be upon us. For some though, the holidays can be really stressful. Especially since the holidays seem to be centered on food! If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, the holidays can make that very challenging, which is why I’ve put together 7 tips to navigate Thanksgiving Dinner with a healthy mindset, avoid over-indulgence and help you kick off the holiday season without the added pounds!
1. Exercise 1st Thing in The Morning Thanksgiving Day
There are all kinds of 5k Turkey Trots going on which is a fun and festive way to start your day with a really good calorie burn. Does this mean you get to eat extra because you worked out? Not really. It means your workout will help you to burn off the extra calories you are bound to consume!
2. Don’t Starve Yourself All Day
Most people think if they don’t eat they will be able to eat all they want at the Thanksgiving dinner table. The reality is, you have now put your body into starvation mode. The minute you finally do eat, #1 you are going to be so ravenous that you eat all that is in sight, and #2, your body is going to take everything you eat, healthy or not so healthy, and store it for reserves since you put your body into starvation mode. Your best bet is to still eat small meals throughout the day. Ex: 1 Egg or 2 egg-white omelet with veggies and a ½ cup berries for breakfast, a nice chicken salad for lunch and some deli turkey and crackers for a snack to keep you going before dinner. Then, even after all that eating, you still eat dinner! This will keep your metabolism revving all day making it much easier burning off the excess calories.
3. Eat Everything But in Small Portions
Don’t go eat-crazy as if you’ll never see this food again. The reality is, you most likely will have mini Thanksgiving feasts for days with leftovers. So go light, try everything, and try really hard NOT to stuff yourself! This is key! The minute you stuff yourself, whatever your body cannot use for muscle repair and energy, will be stored as fat. So make a decision to not overeat.
4. Take a Walk After Dinner or a Bike Ride
Something active will help in the digestion process and it will also add to your calorie burn vs. the alternative go-to of lounging on the couch in front of the football game as the tryptophan sinks in and your body goes into hibernation for the remainder of the day.
5. Don’t Take Too Many Leftovers
Do you really need to be eating this kind of food every day, for every meal for the next week? Let me help as you try to justify that answer. The answer is NO. Resist the mashup of potatoes, turkey, gravy, stuffing, corn, and everything else you can cram into that double-duty zip lock. Just take one more meal’s worth. Trust that your meal will taste that much better.
6. Workout Hard The Next Day
The next morning, hit the gym, the outdoors or your home to get another really good calorie burn in.
7. Get Right Back on Track the NEXT Meal
Come breakfast the next day, get back on top of things! They healthier you eat, the better you will feel post Thanksgiving.
You don’t have to deprive yourself when trying to lose weight, just do think, eat and move smarter! Stuffing yourself with food is never the answer. Eating small portions is!
If you’ve reached the end of this blog, then congrats to you for taking control of your health!
I wish you a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving,