The holiday season is here. With today being Thanksgiving, I thought I would address one of the most common questions I get this time of year. How do I survive the holiday meals? The thing to remember is that Thanksgiving is just one day. There’s no harm in indulging some, but try not to overindulge. It’s just that simple, right? I understand that it’s not, which is why I have included my top 5 tips for staying healthy on the holiday.
#1 Start the day with exercise. The biggest benefit here is that you will feel better all day long. Yes, you may burn some calories to help counter the meal that’s coming, but don’t make that your primary focus. Try to do something that you enjoy. It’s a holiday after all. Run a Turkey Trot 5K, take a group class with family or friends, hop on the elliptical, lift some weights. As long as you’re moving, you’re good. If you’re looking for a convenient workout to do at home, check out our holiday routine.
#2 Balance the rest of your meals. Begin with a filling, high fiber, protein packed breakfast. This morning, I’m having a 3 egg white veggie omelet with oatmeal, raisins, and walnuts. Try to limit Thanksgiving fixings to just one meal. Shoot for a light lunch or dinner depending on when you’re having your holiday meal. If you have to do Thanksgiving twice, try to limit your portion sizes, which leads me to my next tip.
#3 All things are fine in moderation. Are there any foods that are off limits? I don’t think so. Simply try to control your portions. Take just one pass through the buffet line, and try to keep your plate from overflowing. Is dessert where you get into trouble? Try to cut each portion in half. If that doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, then make an even smaller plate during dinner so that you can have that full piece of pumpkin pie.
#4 Take a walk. One to two hours after a meal is the ideal time to engage in low level physical activity. Make it a tradition for the whole family to take a walk together. Exercising after a meal has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and triglycerides. Not to mention, it’s a lot harder to continue grazing or go for dessert round 3 when you’re on a walk.
#5 Share the leftovers. As I said before, Thanksgiving is just one day, unless you’re eating leftovers for a week. Send a little bit home with your guests, especially the desserts. They’ll love you for it and you won’t have to worry about sneaking down to the fridge at midnight for an extra piece of pecan pie.
Above all, remember that holidays are joyous occasions. Try to incorporate as many of these tips as you can without feeling deprived. And if you do overindulge a bit, it’s just one day. You’ll be back on track tomorrow.