A healthy Thanksgiving is for stuffing turkey, not your belly. The Thanksgiving meal is really not that bad when you think about some of the foods involved. It’s the over-sized portions that can be bad, and of course, tons of leftovers!
Make this holiday stand out from the rest by putting your portion control knowledge to the test. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you fit during the holidays so you can spend your energy on what truly matters this season: family and friends.
Tip #1 Get Moving
Planning will help with this so make it a priority to fit exercise into your busy schedule; a little exercise is better than none. If you can’t make it to the gym, spend more time moving: go shopping, clean the house, or heck, wash your car by hand!
Personal Trainer Tip: aim to burn at least 100 extra calories a day. That’s as easy as three 10-min walks throughout the day, which is an accomplishable goal. The more you move, the better you’ll feel and the less you’ll be tempted to eat.
Tip #2 Aim for 5 a Day!
Fill up your stomach, not your calorie level, by loading up on fresh foods. If you focus on eating more fibrous foods you won’t have as much room for the holiday treats.
Dietitian Tip: eat your veggies first at meals to fill you up faster!
Tip #3 Don’t Temp the Temptation
Know your limits and have a plan of how much you will eat if you are going to indulge. Avoid the common pitfalls such as break rooms at work or the office candy dish.
Dietitian Tip: recognize which treats you’re most tempted by and try to find a healthier version. Be creative! Find healthy foods that spark your interest.
Tip #4 Never Go To a Party Hungry
Saving calories for the party could mean setting yourself up for a diet disaster. You’ll cringe when you start to binge as, naturally, your body is trying to make up for the calories not eaten earlier in the day.
Dietitian Tip: to win against the binge, eat a nutritious healthy snack such as Greek yogurt, Asian leaf wraps or an apple with gourmet peanut butter. When you get to the party you’ll be satisfied from your snack and won’t make a beeline for the buffet.
Tip # 5 Just say “NO”. Really, it’s OK!
We feel forced to eat more food during the holidays simply because people put it in front of us. If you’re already feeling full, train yourself to politely say, “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious,” or “I couldn’t eat another bite! Everything tasted wonderful.”
Dietitian Tip: for the relative that is relentless about making you eat and guilt-trips you out of saying “no”, suggest he or she fix a plate for you to take home.
If you do happen to indulge, don’t let the guilt hang over you or lead to more poor choices. Forgive yourself and be thankful. Have a happy Thanksgiving!