Tanksgiving is commonly known as the day to stuff a turkey, and then stuff yourself full of delicious foods all day long. I’m here to tell you how you can still enjoy that pumpkin pie and stuffing, without having to buy new pants the next day. The best way to succeed is to have a plan of attack. I’ve heard this saying a few times and it can definitely be applied to your Thanksgiving day meal, “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail.” Making a plan can be your saving grace when it comes to not packing on the pounds during your Thanksgiving celebration.
So here are 5 tips to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving without having to loosen up your belt a notch or two.
TIP #1 EXERCISE PRIOR TO THE MEAL
Getting up early and hitting the gym is a great way to attack the day. You’ll be burning a few extra calories in preparation of the big meal, but your body will also be ready to use all of those turkey day calories to help repair and rebuild your muscles from that strenuous workout routine.
TIP #2 EAT BREAKFAST
Eating breakfast may seem counterproductive, but in actuality it will help you by getting your metabolism rolling in the morning along with keeping you more full during the day so you don’t overeat during the Thanksgiving lunch.
TIP #3 SMALLER PORTION SIZES
Just because you are trying to watch your waistline, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite slice of pie! The trick is to take smaller portion sizes. Instead of eating a whole half of pie you sliced up, cut the piece in half and eat a little bit less. That goes for all your favorite foods. Whether it is mashed potatoes and gravy, or turkey and the side salad, eating a smaller portion size allows you to still enjoy your favorite flavors while not allowing you to over-indulge with the high calorie foods.
TIP #4 EAT SLOWLY, AND EAT ONLY ONE PLATE
Now that you’ve got the portion sizes down, fill your plate up with the family favorites. Take each bite slowly. Don’t inhale it, actually chew it. Fun fact: The more you chew your food the more it is digested and is easier to get the nutrients out of the food. Also, chewing longer takes more time. Duh, it takes you longer for you eat. But why is this helpful? Allowing your food to hit your stomach and start the digesting process allows your chemical signals to get back to your brain and tell you that you are filling up, rather than just stuffing your face as fast as possible and overeating before your body can respond.
TIP #5 AVOID OR LIMIT THE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
I know, I know. “But you don’t know my family….I need that wine.” I’m not saying you can’t have that drink, just drink it slower. Savor it. Sip it. Enjoy it. Don’t drink it like you’ve been lost in the desert (Different than dessert…) for a year and it’s the first water you’ve seen. Enjoy the drink with your meal. Limit how much/how many you have.
BONUS TIP: ENJOY IT
Thanksgiving is a time to look around, notice all the things that you are blessed with in life. Don’t just think about how annoying your family can be when they are talking about the election. Embrace the fact that you get to actually talk with your family. Enjoy that you can give them a hug or kiss and talk to them face to face. Enjoy being able to eat such a great meal with people you love, and with people who love you.
Enjoy it. And when you’re done, get your butt to the gym 😉 we’ve got Christmas parties to look good for!