Thanksgiving Day is traditionally known for its indulgences along with being an annually customary reason to overeat, followed by lounging lazily for the remainder of the day as we watch football games, drink, nap and spend time with family and friends.
One day a year is most likely NOT going to demise your healthy eating intentions that you’ve already been working so diligently towards. However, continuing this behavior throughout the holiday season could surely leave you with a few uwanted pounds in the beginning of your New Year.
With that said, be mindful of what you eat this Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s a few tips to prevent you from being ‘stuffed’:
1. Get up and go for a run, take a long walk or spend at least one hour at your gym in an attempt to burn calories prior to Thanksgiving dinner. Plan an event for everyone that involves physical activity (basketball, football, group walk or bike ride). Sign up for a local Turkey Trot 5K or 10K and spend your Thanksgiving morning getting some exercise.
2. Don’t skip breakfast or lunch. You’ll surely overeat when it comes time for dinner.
3. Your body is not meant to handle 2,000-3,000 calories in one sitting. Excess calories store as fat.
4. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
5. Control your portion sizes. Think of your entire plate as representing one item from each of the food groups (being proteins, vegetables and starches). Tip: Eat the white meat without the skin instead of the dark meat with skin and shave off a significant amount of calories.
6. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Give your body time to digest the food instead of contemplating a second plate.
7. Be sure to enjoy the company of your friends and family. You can’t eat and talk at the same time. The more you socialize, the less you will eat.
8. Be cognizant of your alcohol intake as well. A glass of wine is reasonable. An alcoholic beverage can significantly increase your caloric intake in just one shot. They can be just as high in calories as sugar loaded sodas.
May you eat and drink responsibly! Happy Thanksgiving!
Tracy Springs is a fitness instructor at LA Fitness. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a fitness appointment at the LA Fitness Waukegan facility.