Thanksgiving is a time to come together with family, be thankful, and eat delicious food. While it is a wonderful time and one of my personal favorite holidays, it can cause stress for those who are cooking as well as eating. If you’re anything like me it’s hard to say “no” to a mound of stuffing, or a piece of pecan pie, but wait, don’t let the extra calories bother you today, that’s not what this holiday is about! It’s time to let your guard down and enjoy yourself. By making smart decisions, you won’t fill up too much and force yourself into a food coma that puts you out of commission the next day or maybe two. Here are a few tips to remember this Thanksgiving:
- Work out early! Thanksgiving dinner usually starts around the afternoon for most, so try to wake up to get in a little exercise in the morning. Maybe you want to use this time for a little mother-daughter bonding before the family rolls in? Take a nice walk or jog around the neighborhood! This could also be a great time to hang out with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Check your local gym listings. Many places offer pre-Thanksgiving workouts that would be fun to do with a group of friends! Finally, you may just want to clear your head before you dive into family-time headfirst. In order to mentally prepare, head on over to the yoga studio to get your Zen on.
- Drink water! A great complement to your turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and (insert favorite food here), is a nice glass of ice water. Make sure you take a nice gulp every few bites to slow yourself down and stay hydrated. This is also very important if your slugging down the vino, which can cause dehydration.
- Eat with your non-dominant hand! What better way to savor every bite than to eat with your opposite hand so you slow down. Not only will you enjoy the flavors of every bite more, but also you’ll realize sooner when you’re full so that you don’t cause yourself a stomachache.
- Choose Wisely! When asked, “what kind of meat do you want?” remember that white meat is the leanest and healthiest, but only by a little bit. Pick your favorite part of turkey to eat and focus on diversifying your plate to make healthier decisions. Load up on veggies first and then move on to a tasting of stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and whatever else (without forgetting tip #2). After you have a little bit of everything move back to the veggies if you’re still hungry. Not satisfied after the veggies? Go in for more; listen to your body!
- Breathe! Whether you love the food or hate it, remember it’s really about being thankful for everything great in your life. So breathe, relax, and enjoy yourself, don’t waist your breath complaining about how full or fat you may feel; YOU’RE NOT. And if you follow the three previous tips you’ll be feeling great all day!
How do you pace yourself for Thanksgiving?