It’s that time of year again! In just a couple of days over 46 million turkeys will be consumed in America, along with the average 4500 monstrous calories consumed annually on Thanksgiving Day! This number isn’t here to discourage you from enjoying this upcoming holiday, but rather to serve as a healthy reminder before, during and after the meal to stay on track toward your fitness goal! I’ve come up with a few tips that I feel will be helpful for pre and post turkey day!
Prior to Thanksgiving:
Whether you are hosting or travelling for Thanksgiving here are some helpful tips for the days leading up to Turkey day.
- Exercise: Don’t forget about your weekly/daily exercise routine. On the days leading up to Thanksgiving be sure to get to the gym, or go outside for your daily walk (or whatever your form of exercise may be). Often times, when individuals are stressed or busy in a day the first thing they decide to skip is the gym. The gym should never be skipped. In fact, the gym should be made into an essential part of your day for the week leading up to Thanksgiving. This will not only help you stay on track, but it will also make you feel good at the end of each day.
- Eat well: On the days leading up to Thanksgiving, continue to eat healthy! Eating well will help you stay on track before the big binge day and will aide in motivation to get back on track after the day has passed.
- Plan: If you are cooking dinner, try and find some healthy substitutions for the side dishes. Some examples include: http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/7-healthy-twists-your-favorite-thanksgiving-dishes. If you are travelling to a Thanksgiving dinner ask the host what the menu looks like and if healthy options are lacking bring a healthy dish yourself!
On the Day:
- Eat a nutritious breakfast: On the day of Thanksgiving start the day out with a large nutritious breakfast. Try an egg white omelet including all of your favorite vegetables. A large sized breakfast will keep you from snacking on those unnecessary appetizers and start your day on a good note. It has also been found that those who try to skip meals end up binging more than those who eat a good breakfast.
- Exercise: After you finish watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the first 20 minutes of the Dog Show, go outside for a family walk, take the dog out for a walk, or have a nice game of tag football, or soccer. Just get moving before the big meal!
- Limit your indulgence: If there is a particular part of Thanksgiving that you know is your “Achilles heel” then try to limit yourself to just one. For example, if you know desserts are your downfall then before dessert make plans for you to only have one slice of pecan pie and that is it. Or if gravy is your downfall only allow yourself one scoop from the ladle.
- Enjoy the day and drop the guilt: One bad day is not going to dictate your entire year so enjoy the day and don’t focus on the calories. Be thankful!
- Get right back on track: Don’t spiral into a period of bad eating until New Year’s Day. Again one bad day isn’t going to ruin everything so make sure you start eating healthy again and have a stocked fridge filled with healthy foods.
- Get to the gym: Do not wait more than one day to get back to the gym after Thanksgiving! The earlier you return the easier it will be to get back into your routine. Who knows the gym might be having a black Friday sale!
I hope these few tips will help you have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy the day however you may celebrate it and be safe! All the best from your friends at Farmingdale Physical Therapy West!