Many of us are still dealing with Halloween Candy and now Thanksgiving is about a week away. It’s enough to take even the most-disciplined, die-hard exerciser off track.
In America, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with an all-out gorge until you’re about to burst. A retreat to the couch follows because you’re just too stuffed to move. It doesn’t have to be this way – everyone always regrets it afterwards. Remember last year’s moans and groans “Ugh, I shouldn’t have ate the second helping of stuffing and sweet potatoes!”
This year, we’re going to help you be more pro-active:
It’s estimated that the average American can consume 5000+ calories on Thanksgiving Day. Most people enjoy a bigger than usual breakfast, Thanksgiving meal and we can’t forget the left-overs later in the evening. Now if you were an Olympic Athlete this wouldn’t be too much of a problem but since the only activity most people do on Thanksgiving is the walk from the kitchen to the TV, Thanksgiving can wreck havoc on your health.
Plan a Healthy Thanksgiving Meal: If you’re in charge of dinner or helping to plan, keep these tips in mind:
• Schedule the meal earlier in the day. Thanksgiving Dinner between 2:00-5:00 will allow some time for the body to digest the heavy meal before you hit the sack. Or do Thanksgiving the European way – schedule Thanksgiving as an all- day celebration and serve small dishes every hour or so. This seems so much healthier and civilized than mom busting her butt all day long preparing a meal that is consumed ravenously in 5 minutes. Spread the calories out throughout the day and you’ll be less likely to feel awful.
• Minimize the carb overload – Instead of preparing sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls choose only one or two of these dishes. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!)
• While guests are arriving, have a vegetable platter available for them to munch on
• Serve a delicious soup as the appetizer
• Serve a beautiful salad
• Serve two or three different types of vegetables at the table
• Use skim or semi-skim milk for all your recipes
• Serve water with dinner
You can have Desert: But before desert is served, insist everyone go for a beautiful walk around the neighborhood. Or plan some fun activities while you allow your body to process the meal. For example, plan a fun game of charades, break out the WII, or maybe pull out the Holiday decorations and have the family help get your house looking festive. Or maybe earn some brownie points with mom, grandma or Aunt Jane by raking some leaves.
Get your workout in: Head to the gym for a quick workout (many are open for limited hours including our facilities in Portland and Vancouver WA) or take a run, walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. If you’ve got family visiting, do it first thing in the morning before people wake-up. A workout will actually make you feel better and help to suppress your appetite so you’re less likely to overeat. And consider ramping up your workouts over this next week so you're expending a little more energy in anticipation of the increased caloric intake next Thursday.
You can still enjoy a wonderful dinner and atmosphere without having everyone feeling bloated and horrible for the rest of the evening and suffering a Thanksgiving Hang-over the next day!
Forward this email to everyone you are celebrating Thanksgiving with this year so you're all on the same page!
Yours in health and fitness,