It's that time of year again, Thanksgiving. Personally, my favorite holiday. We gather as friends and family, with humility and thankfulness, cook amazing foods and smells, laugh and eat and watch the Detroit Lions play for the 76th traditional game. If we are not too careful however, Thanksgiving can be a disastrous train wreck when it comes to our health, or our current fitness plans. It can escalate quickly with gravy, pie, and wine quantities that just reach out of control. Here are five strategies to help combat a Thanksgiving meltdown while still enjoying the favorite holiday:
1. Eat Breakfast. Stoke your metabolism early, break the fast from last night's sleep by getting something in your stomach before the day gets underway. Having consistent protein and food intake throughout any day is a huge key to blood sugar stabilizing, eliminating cravings and keeping your intake regular.
2. Get an early workout in. Again, stoke your metabolism early! Hitting a short interval workout (15-20min) or even a resistance workout with raise your EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) for hours afterwards, so you can burn calories while you are gorging on the feast! Setting your body's makeup on the right path for the day is a win, no matter what happens.
3. Eat majority protein (turkey). Fill up on the good stuff. Eat turkey and green beans, then be moderate with all the other sides that are not-so-healthy. Choose wisely, don't kid yourself. Just get a taste of all the sweets and sides that you want, but don't overdo it. I think we've all done it in the past, you don't feel so good afterwards so remember that, fill up on good proteins and fibrous and complex carbs, not sugar and excess fats.
4. Don't do it all at once. It's still going to be there when you're done, thing about Thanksgiving feast is there is always leftovers! Don't gorge yourself in the one big sitting. Stop eating before you are full, save it and then eat again in a few hours. If you do it all at once you are cooked for the rest of the day, immobile and miserable. No matter what you eat, space it out throughout the day.
5. Take a walk or help clean up. After the feast, take the dogs out on a long walk with a couple family members. Or, volunteer to help clean up the table and all the dishes, move about. Some post-feast activity will do wonders for your digestion. Grab your nieces or nephews to go outside and throw around the pigskin...you get the point.