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8 Thanksgiving tips to stay on track

Are you new to a healthy lifestyle or trying to lose weight, and worried about the Thanksgiving holiday coming up? You’re not alone. For many of us, the kids are home from school, you are traveling to visit family or hosting family, and it’s easier to abandon our healthy lifestyle. After all, Thanksgiving is based around a giant meal, and most of us associate it with stuffing ourselves with so much delicious food that we must unbutton our pants, and take a couch nap during the big football game. It doesn’t have to be this way, and with a little bit of planning and balance, Thanksgiving can be enjoyed thoroughly in moderation without feeling deprived. Here are 8 healthy Thanksgiving tips for staying on track.

Plan ahead of time. Just like planning to cook Thanksgiving dinner, or planning what dish to bring to someone else’s dinner, I plan what I will eat. Even if I don’t know what’s being served, I make a commitment to fill my plate first with turkey and vegetables before serving myself candied yams and stuffing. There is less room on the plate for those, if it’s filled with turkey and vegetables. This will prevent me from making impulse decisions that I will later regret. When hitting the desserts, I make decisions about what is worth indulging in and what isn’t.

2. Move
Workout in the morning and get it out of the way for the day.  Participate in a 5K Turkey Trot; bring your sneakers to your family’s house and go for a run; do a 40-minute circuit of jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, planks and crunches; or bring a Beachbody DVD or watch one of the Beachbody workouts on YouTube and have others join in!  After the meal, instead of lying down after the meal to watch the game, encourage everyone to get outside and play a game of touch football, or take a walk and catch up and just enjoy the fresh autumn air.  Remember, some movement is better than no movement.

3. Don’t show up hungry
Eat a normal healthy breakfast, or a small filling but smart snack before the get-together. Have a yummy Shakeology Pumpkin Pie shake!  This will make sure I’m not starving, which would make me more likely to lose control at the food buffet.

4. A plateful of protein and color
Protein and color are our friends. Thanksgiving meals have some excellent choices. Turkey white meat is lean and full of protein. Sweet potatoes are another great choice as long as they aren’t loaded in butter, marshmallows, or brown sugar. Any colorful fruits and vegetables like salad, broccoli, green beans, apples, pumpkin, and even red wine can be enjoyed without derailing a healthy lifestyle. If you are cooking Thanksgiving or bringing a dish, there are tons of healthy recipes out there for you to prepare yourself!

5. Have a taste
It’s a holiday, and life is about balance, so enjoy the foods you love, but in moderation. After you fill up your plate (and your belly) with the best choices, take a small sampling of the candied yams, the apple pie, the mashed potatoes and gravy. A few bites aren’t going to wreak havoc on your fitness and nutrition plan, just don’t let it spiral into a binge-fest.

6. Stop when you’re full
While I’m eating, I pay close attention to my hunger and fullness.  I don’t want to feel literally sick to my stomach, stuffed with food.  I enjoy my meal, and when I feel full, I stop.

7. Get right back on track
I make the next meal after my Thanksgiving meal a healthy one, focused on protein and vegetables. I don’t worry about too many calories. It’s more important to get right back into my good nutrition habits. Then the next day, I get right back to eating healthy foods and a good sweat session.

8. Be thankful
I am grateful that I am able to workout and have healthy foods available to me.  I workout and eat right, because I can, not because I have to.  I count my fitness and health reminding myself of why I am making the healthiest choices possible every day of the year. Be grateful for your good health!

1 comment

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