Good morning friends!
Is it just me, or is anyone else already in holiday mode? For some reason this week has been mentally easier for me than most. I think it’s because I know that next week is a holiday, so therefore I’m in the home stretch. Charlie, Oscar and I are heading to AZ to hang with my family for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!
Thanksgiving is seriously my FAVORITE holiday. The other holidays are great, but for some reason Thanksgiving has always been my favorite. I think it’s a mixture of the food and the tradition. Every year, my aunt puts out an amazing spread. I love food so much!!
While I do love this holiday, I’ve learned over the years that overdoing it doesn’t make me feel good. It always sounds like fun…..until I get finished eating my last cookie and pretty much need to be rolled away from the table. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I don’t like feeling that full. It’s uncomfortable.
Because of that, I’ve gathered some great tips and tricks for Thanksgiving that I personally use to help combat the over-eating madness that tends to occur on this day. While I think that Thanksgiving is a perfectly good reason to indulge in all the foods you love, I don’t think it has to be quite the calorie bomb that it can be. With a little planning and thought, it doesn’t have to derail you too much and you can still fully enjoy yourself.
Tips and Tricks to Navigating Thanksgiving:
1. Workout in the morning. This is something I ALWAYS do each year. For some reason, it’s much easier to push yourself really hard and get a great workout in when you know the reward is a huge, delicious meal. Thoughts of pumpkin and pecan pie swirl through my brain as I kick my butt. I try to do something that works my full body and makes me sweat a lot.
Since many gyms are closed on Thanksgiving, here are some suggestions:
(you can find more workouts like these in my e-book Fit Lizzio Fitness To Go here)
You could also sign up for a local Turkey Trot (find one in your area here) or go for a run or bike ride with a friend/family member.
2. Eat a meal before “the meal”. I used to make the mistake of starving myself all day so that I could scarf down all of the Thanksgiving fixings. The problem with this is that I was SO hungry by the time the food was put out, I’d overeat and not even realize it. (Until I laid on the couch and past out in a food coma). Eat healthy meals leading up to Thanksgiving Dinner. Go with lots of fruits and vegetables (high fiber and filling), lean proteins, and healthy fats. This will help keep your blood sugar levels normal and your appetite in check.
3. Navigate your Plate. Instead of getting a bunch of everything and scarfing it all down, think about the foods you REALLY want and come up with a strategy. For example, I like to fill up my plate with turkey breast meat, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. Those are my go-to Thanksgiving foods. Since stuffing is my least favorite, and grean bean casserole is my most favorite, I only get a little bit of stuffing and I get a bit more green bean casserole. When it comes to eating, I start with the turkey (lean protein!), and eat a few bites of that first. This is usually the healthiest part of Thanksgiving dinner, so I try to fill up on that before I hit the sides and desserts. Many times, we just need a little taste of each, but if we hit those foods when we first sit down and are starving, our hunger and cravings will usually take over. Try to eat the healthiest foods first and then move on from there.
4. Share your dessert. It’s so easy to eat an entire slice of each kind of pie on the table (pumpkin, pecan, apple, etc!), so if you get one slice of each and share them with a family member, significant other, or friend, this usually helps you to eat less. You can still enjoy all of the flavors and not stuff yourself silly!
5. Freaking Enjoy Yourself! At the end of the day, it’s just one meal. Don’t fret over it and if you want 2nds or 3rds of the most unhealthy side item on the table, JUST GO FOR IT. I truly believe Thanksgiving should be fully enjoyed. These tips are here to help you make Thanksgiving just a bit lighter, but do what makes you happy on this special day. Remember, one meal won’t derail your efforts (just like one meal won’t make you fit).
Questions of the Day:
Do you have any tips to add that help you to navigate your Thanksgiving table?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving fixing?