Tomorrow is the big day! The day many have been licking their chops the whole year for, while at the same time many fear.
Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so why not go ahead and splurge? Because gaining weight during the holiday season is a national pastime. Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays — and keep the extra weight permanently.
But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight, experts say. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!
The holiday season is no time to slack off on your exercise routine. In fact, it is best to begin preparations for the holiday season a couple weeks in advance by lengthening your workout routine and adding a little extra distance to your morning and evening walks.
Don’t worry, it isn’t too late if you haven’t been exercising more – or not at all – already. The important thing is that you are here and reading this, and thus catching yourself before it is too late.
It is going to be important to create a calorie deficit during this time of the year. That means exercising to burn off extra calories before you indulged in your favorite meals. It’s quite simple really. Exercise more, eat less!
While it may seem like skipping breakfast to save room for the big meal is a good idea to lessen your calorie intake, it can have an opposite result. Eating a simple and fulfilling breakfast such as an egg on a piece of whole-grain toast or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk can help take the edge of your appetite when it comes time for the feast and give you better control of your food and beverage choices.
Take it Easy
No, we don’t mean take it easy physically, we mean take it easy with the extra additives! So many recipes call for three sticks to many of butter or way too much cream. Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less sugar, fat ( especially saturated ) and overall less calories.
America is notorious for excessive portion sizes, and the rumors reins true, especially during the holidays. Before you stack your plate with double of everything from the bountiful buffet table, scope out what your favorite foods that you can’t live without. Enjoy the food items you only get during this time of the year and skip the extra regular dinner roll.
I know it’s hard, but skipping seconds will prevent you from overeating and will save leftovers for the days to come. White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.
If your portion size is smaller, you should be fine enjoying whatever you choose.
Slow it Down
Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.
Taking a break from hovering over the table and going for a walk with the family before dessert is a great way to slow down the process of stuffing ourselves and spreading the meals over a longer period of time.
The holidays are a time many look forward to because of the delicious foods and quality time with the people we care about. Don’t spoil that for yourself! Shift the mind set of weight loss to weight maintenance during this time of year. Enjoy this time with the people around you, but don’t forget about your fitness and nutrition goals and throw all your hardworking out the window during these short few months.
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