Psst. Hey you. Yeah you. Thanksgiving is Thursday, and you know what that means. Family and food. Lots of food. And you’ve been working really hard on eating right and exercising. So you’re not thinking about throwing all of that hard work away are you? I hope not, because there are plenty of things you can do to make it through Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holiday season, while not letting your health and wellness routine suffer the consequences.
First, make time for your workouts. Just like you’re going to make sure you plan out the Thanksgiving Day meal and know when you need to start preparing the turkey, you need to plan out your workouts and make sure you’re prepared to fit them in. Not only will this help you deal with the extra food I’m sure you’re going to eat, but as you know, it also helps manage stress. Something that comes along with those family get-togethers.
Second, don’t feel like you have to avoid holiday parties, or all you-can-eat buffets. You just have to demonstrate a bit of self control and make smart choices when filling your plate. As I have always told you, I believe in the idea of eating five to six small meals a day three to four hours apart as opposed to two or three larger meals. This “grazing” helps give your body the energy it needs consistently throughout the day, while helping you avoid overeating during mealtime. And of course these small meals need to be smart choices. Lean proteins, healthy carbs and low fat. Plus, they need to be the proper portion.
If you’re not in charge of the cooking, make sure you are in charge of what you put on your plate and follow these simple steps.
n Eat a salad before your meal. Just don’t load it done with a fatty salad dressing, bacon bits, or other non-vegetables. This will help you eat less of the not-so-good stuff later in the meal.
n Keep that water glass filled. Drinking several glasses of cold water during your meal will help you feel full.
n Go for a walk after your meals. This will help get your metabolism going and start burning off those unwanted calories.
And what if you are in charge of cooking the holiday meal? Here are a few tips that can help you and your guests enjoy a healthier day.
n Don’t stuff the turkey. The dressing will absorb the fat from the turkey. Cook the dressing by itself, and cook the turkey on a rack with a roasting pan, to allow all of the fat to drip away from the bird. And when making the gravy, skim off the fat from the roasting pan.
n Substitute regular potatoes with sweet potatoes, and mash them with evaporated skimmed milk, some chicken broth, and sweeten them with honey.
n Instead of putting butter on your hot vegetables, try sprinkling them with a bit of salt and pepper or a little lemon juice.
n Skip the breads. Enough said.
Navigating through the holidays is not difficult if you just keep in mind your ultimate goal of being fit.
Remember, not planning to succeed, is a plan to fail. Have a great and healthy Thanksgiving.
Mike DeCinti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-827-2439.