Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surviving Thanksgiving Day

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week already!  This day can be one of the worst when it comes to sabotaging your weight loss plans, even though it’s technically just one meal.  The average American eats thousands, yes thousands, of calories on this day.  I have a few ideas to help you successfully survive the day and not veer too far off track.

First, plan ahead.  I categorize this meal as my “free meal” of the week, so I eat healthy the rest of the week.  Stick to your workout regimen those days before as much as possible.  The morning of, eat a good breakfast, this will help you later in the day.

Planning your attitude is just as important.  Instead of approaching the day as overindulgence, see it as an opportunity to enjoy a meal you wouldn’t normally have with important people in your life.  Think moderation throughout the day, not restricting yourself to the point of deprivation, but not stuffing yourself silly either.  Savor each bite, this will keep your pace reasonable.

Next let’s look at the actual meal.  The tricky part can be the goodies out before the meal.  Be selective about what you munch on, looking at vegetables versus crackers when it comes to the dips.  Instead of dipping right out of the serving dish, put a small amount on your plate and then add the veggies.  When you sit down to dinner, mentally divide your plate in half.  On one half, fill it with vegetables and fruit such as salads (sorry, no potatoes on this side).  Split the other half into two sections, one for meat and the other for starches like potatoes and stuffing.  This will help you enjoy everything in, you guessed it, moderation.  When dessert is served, pick your favorite or the one of your favorites you have the least and enjoy.

After the meal, the best thing you can do for your metabolism is not sit and watch football.  Very tempting I know (and I love football), but take 30 minutes or so and be moderately active.  Go for a walk, play football with the kids, engage the family in a game of some sort.  I’m not saying go for a run, but keep moving to begin the calorie burning process.

As the rest of the weekend goes by, quietly slip back into your normal weekend routine, eat smart and stay active.  Take advantage of the Black Friday deals, shopping really does burn calories if you keep moving.

Remember, moderation is the key on this day and most days. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!