Thanksgiving is probably the one holiday where we give ourselves a “pass” to indulge in every delicious and delectable thing that’s within arm’s reach. Afterwards, we find ourselves lying on the coach and bloated. While you may want to blame the tryptophan in the turkey, think about this: the “average” Thanksgiving meal (6 oz. turkey, ¼ cup stuffing, a dinner roll, ½ cup mashed potatoes, 1/3 cup green beans, a couple of heaping tablespoons cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup Brussels sprouts and a piece of pumpkin pie) is about 2,400 calories. That’s ONE serving!
And, it doesn’t stop at just Thanksgiving dinner. There are the leftovers (turkey sandwich with all the fixings, turkey soup, Thanksgiving dinner part 2). So, say the day after Thanksgiving, you have a bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast (about 230 calories), a turkey sandwich with cranberry on whole wheat (about 670 calories), a slice of pumpkin pie (about 323 calories), maybe some turkey soup for dinner (about 200 calories) and a slice of apple pie for dessert (about 411 calories). You’ve potentially eaten a whopping 4,234 calories in about 24 hours. Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, eats about that many calories in a meal when training!
So, how do you get back on track so you can look and feel fabulous for your Christmas and New Year’s parties? Well, it starts before the Thanksgiving festivities. While it’s easier to avoid Thanksgiving altogether, it’s also not realistic (unless you don’t get along with your family). And, while you may also be tempted to withhold certain foods, like pumpkin pie, you’ll end up craving it more as the day wears on and eating more than you anticipated.
It all comes down to planning and managing what you eat. So, here are a few simple things to think about before you head over to dinner:
- Snack on sensible appetizers before dinner, such as vegetables, fruit, soup, a handful crackers, etc. This will help curb your appetite before dinner and give you less of an excuse to pile up your plate.
- Food is meant to be enjoyed, not inhaled. So eat s-l-o-w-l-y. Appreciate the hard work that went into making that meal.
- It takes your brain about 10 minutes to figure out that you’re actually full. So, when you eat slowly, you’ll be less likely to overeat.
- Have a sip of water between bites. This will help you feel fuller faster.
- If you decide to have dessert, aim for a slice of pie that can fit in the palm of your hand.
- Get back to your exercise regimen as soon as you can, the next day if possible. The longer you take off from exercising (unless you’re injured or sick), the harder it will be start back up again.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be much happier and less stressed when it comes time to slip into that new outfit you bought for your Christmas and/or New Year’s party.
3F-1 Fitness aims to help and educate individuals about living healthier through fitness, proper nutrition and proper living. They offer a variety of services, including personal training (one-on-one, sport-specific conditioning, senior fitness); group fitness; corporate wellness; nutritional advice and planning; and, healthy living advice. For more information, visit www.3f1fitness.com or contact us at 484-881-3008.