Thanksgiving, not Oktoberfest, marks the official start of the holiday season. Oh yeah! Absolutely love it! The juicy roasted turkey is just amazing. But the Thanksgiving meal with grilled vegetables and different cranberry sauces and sometimes there’s rolls and other times mashed potatoes. It is one of my favorite meals every year and the main reason why I’m not a vegetarian. More of that delish fowl please. Come Thanksgiving Day, it’s off to grandmother’s house for my family. Awaiting us is a plethora of every amazing classic: mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, yams, succotash, antipasto, grilled asparagus, sautéed mushrooms and onions, coleslaw, turkey sausage stuffing, regular stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie and a la mode. Yes it’s for sure a feast! Just thinking about all that food makes me full already. Yum.
I always fight hard not to get sucked into over eating, the main pitfall of the holiday season. Too much delicious food, not enough sleep and missed exercise. Missed exercise? Hell no. I don’t think so! The holidays are an amazing time to catch up with family and friends and eat delish food, but you can’t just push aside all the hard work you’ve done all year just for a month and a half of fun. No way José! Go have fun, but still be running, going to yoga, and watching what you eat. That is the best kind of holiday to remember!
Okay, I have some tips to help you avoid the quicksand of holiday weight gain. First, keep exercising like me. If you can workout on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday then do it up! Even if you’re making the meal you can still go out for a quick run, take advantage of your gym if its open in the morning, or even go for a long walk. You’ll definitely have time while that turkey is cooking, so keep moving and enjoy it. And after a day of entertaining and cooking it’ll feel awesome to treat yourself to a workout Friday morning. So get off your bum and do it!
My second tip, control your portions people! I know my eyes are always bigger than my belly and I’m sure yours are too. My advice, load up on the veggies and turkey and be way careful of too much mashed potatoes and stuffing. If you can live without them, skip the rolls. Let’s face it, unless their homemade, they’re not that great! It’s just empty calories that you definitely want to save for dessert. And make sure to drink lots of water all day. This should be a given, but stay hydrated. It’ll help you to gage better when you are actually hungry. Then you won’t overeat before dessert.
If you have to eat dessert then just choose one! Only one? I’m not being crazy! Desserts can have upwards of five hundred calories per slice. That’s a five with two zeros after it. So really think about whether it’s worth it to have a full slice. I always just like to have a sliver of pumpkin pie. Of course I then pick off my guy’s plate and have a bit of something different too. That’s right, I’m sneaky like that and a bite or two is extremely satisfying!
My final tip, don’t forget to eat breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, especially if you do workout. It’s easy to think that you’re just going to eat a huge meal later, so let’s save those calories. It’s not that simple and seriously, thinking that is the worst! You’ll be so hungry by the big meal that you’ll gorge yourself silly and make yourself feel sick! A good filling breakfast in the morning solves all that and will keep you going until your thanksgiving feast.
I’ll be taking all my own tips this Thanksgiving so I end the year like I started! Don’t use the holiday season as a reason to let yourself go. You’ll inevitably regret it come New Year’s Day. Then you’ll make some crazy resolution about change and a new day dawning that’s always an uphill battle. Instead just stay ahead of any weight gain! It’s unnecessary. It sucks and you always regret it. So what if you only have one plate full of food and one dessert. You won’t go hungry I promise! You’ll even have more fun since you’re not so full that you can’t move! Popping a button is not attractive.