Hello, Readers, and Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day of thankfulness and joy, a day of family and celebration. For many of us, dieting and workouts are at the back of our minds. We really don’t want to think about eating right and working out when there’s a feast to be enjoyed. But, there are still ways to incorporate healthy diet and activities with today’s celebration! So, let’s look into our options.
First of all, exercise is always beneficial. While you may have skipped your workout today in order to get the turkey in the oven or finish preparing your feast, you still should try to get active in some way. Two easy ways to incorporate exercise today are with a friendly game of football or with a Turkey Trot.
Now, I know I’ve discussed a Turkey Trot before, but allow me to reiterate it. A Turkey Trot is a simple walk/run/sprint race of about 5 Kilometers. While you don’t have to do 5 Kilometers, you can easily do your own Turkey Trot with friends and family today. Just put on a pair of walking shoes and take a walk through the neighborhood. Aim for at least a half a mile. The key is to get active. You can play I spy with kids, you can do a scavenger hunt, you can do a race, the choice is yours. Just get active. And, if you can make it fun, it can become a regular part of your celebrations.
Another great way to incorporate exercise into your holiday is to plan a friendly game of football. This can be tag football or flag football or tackle football. Again, the goal should be to get moving and get active. Just one hour of playing football can burn 610 calories. That’s a decent workout. However, keep in mind that one hour of playing football is equivalent to eating four slices of Roast Turkey and one cup of sweet potatoes in terms of calories. But, adding in a fun game of football to your celebrations is a good way to burn excess energy, get everyone moving, and work out at the same time. And it can become a part of your celebration that will make the holidays even more special for everyone.
So, you can see that incorporating exercise into your holidays is an option, even if you can’t always get your workout done. But, what about eating healthy? Let’s look at a few tips on eating healthy today.
First of all, never skip breakfast! Even having a simple breakfast of oatmeal and an orange is plenty. You need those few calories to prevent your body from experiencing starvation mode. But, even that small amount can help tide you over until the major feast. What will that mean? Less snacking or grazing with hors d’ouvres. Less gorging during the feast. Less calories in all. Those 500 calories in the morning can really help keep you from eating 1,500 or more extra calories. Keep in mind that the average American eats about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone. That’s a lot of calories! So, keep it down by eating a small breakfast and avoid snacking or grazing during the day.
Next, during the feast take smaller portions at the beginning. Take one or two slices of turkey, half a scoop of potatoes and stuffing each, a smaller drizzle of gravy, and a very small scoop of sweet potatoes. Instead, load your plate with actual veggies. Add more Brussels sprouts to your plate, savor that first course salad. Eat the greens! Be sure to follow the dietary standards even at the table: half your plate should be vegetables, with one quarter starch and one quarter protein making up the rest. And avoid the veggies in heavy sauces (I’m talking about you, Mr. Green Bean Casserole!). Believe it or not, those dishes are nothing more than excess fat and calories disguised as a veggie dish. In our family, we prefer a great big plate of roasted Brussels Sprouts with a little olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper over a green bean casserole.
Now, keep to smaller portions in the first round. Chew slowly, and drink water in between each bite. You can always have a second portion of something later on if you still want to. But you should aim for a balanced meal in your first plateful. Drinking water in between bites will help cleanse your palate, and it will help you eat more slowly. Also, drinking water helps you avoid excess calorie intake since there are zero calories in water. Chew slowly and avoid shoveling in your food. You want to taste the food and savor the flavors. If it were just about gorging you could just go to McDonald’s and pig out on Big Macs. You might actually avoid extra calories that way. But it’s really about the holiday and the company. So, savor the food and enjoy the conversation more.
If you finish your plate and you still want more food, then wait a few minutes for your body to digest your food. Most often, we overeat on Thanksgiving in order to enjoy everything. Take your time and enjoy the food. Chances are there will be plenty of leftovers to enjoy. So, stay strong and slowly eat. If you really are craving more turkey, then have a small piece. But, psyche yourself out by giving yourself an ultimatum: it’s another slice of turkey or a piece of pumpkin pie. Half of the time, we will hold off for the pie.
Lastly, be sure to enjoy dessert but don’t go overboard. Have your slice of pie, but try to compensate for the extra calories in your meal beforehand. Like I said, smaller portions. Having smaller portions of your feast can compensate for having a slice of pumpkin pie or a couple of glasses of wine. Above all else, keep your fitness goals in mind and don’t let today stop you from reaching them. If you wake up tomorrow, having gained weight today, get right back into your regime and stick with it!
And, above all else, enjoy the holiday responsibly! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from me, your friendly Battleborn Mom!
Until next time,