10 Healthy ways to Survive Thanksgiving
We all love to eat, right? Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where American tradition is centered around food…A LOT of food. Most of which is heavy and calorie dense leaving us to nap for hours afterward or at least FEEL like we need to. If you are like me, you aim to get up early for Black Friday and shop till you drop…unless you still feel like a stuffed turkey. No one has time for that!
Here are 10 healthy ways to survive Thanksgiving…and actually enjoy it!
• Get enough exercise-Especially the week leading up to the “big day”. Add in a few extra steps, take a longer run or add in a resistance training day. By ramping up your body’s metabolism, more calories will be burned even when you are at rest!
• Plan ahead-Make sure your eating stays healthy and clean as much as possible. Aim to prepare some FRESH vegetables as part of the menu…your family and friends will love you for it!
• Eat a healthy breakfast on Turkey day-So very important! Doing this can keep you from snacking on unhealthy foods or overeating at the early Turkey dinner. Keep it healthy and light, like a Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit or a bowl of Steel cut oats with cinnamon and apples.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day-many people confuse the feeling of hunger with just being dehydrated. By drinking water, you can minimize falling into the “tired” trap by keeping energy levels at bay, and your systems working properly. Try no calorie flavored sparkling water too! It’s another way to stay hydrated without the guilt.
• Sign up for a 5k run on Thanksgiving morning-No better way than to start your Thanksgiving day off like this! Encourage your family and friends to get out and move your body for a GOOD cause. I usually do a Run to Feed the Hungry benefitting my local food bank here in Sacramento. You can give your body some love by exercising and giving back to the community at the same time…awesome sauce! Check out what “Turkey Trot” runs are happening in your neck of the woods.
• Watch your serving sizes-This is so important to keeping your healthy goals and lifestyle changes on track-Usually 3-4 oz. of meat is a standard…a bar of soap or a check book should be about the size of your serving. Use the tip of your thumb for fats and oils, and for veggies the serving is like the size of a baseball. This link can help you determine what serving sizes are appropriate.
• Cook using healthier options– Replace sugars with substitutes or fruit purees. Opt for Fat free chicken broth to baste your turkey. Most recipes call for far more sugar and oils than needed. Opt to put less into your recipes, your guests will never know!
• Skip the bread and the seconds-Save the calories for desert… My FAVORITE part! After all…Thanksgiving comes once a year…treat yourself, but be mindful of your serving size…and ENJOY it!
• Take a walk after dinner-It always helps to take a nice walk after consuming a meal. Bonus is you get to burn a few calories and get some blood moving away from that full tummy and into your arms and legs.
• Savor your time with loved ones– don’t forget to stop and smell the roses…or Turkey. I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot of work to prepare for a gathering like this. Be sure to slow down and enjoy your special time. Don’t forget to take pictures, you might capture the one for your annual Christmas card!
I hope these 10 healthy ways to survive Thanksgiving will leave you inspired to really think about your healthy choices and that you CAN make them… even at Thanksgiving, because YOU are worth it!
Be sure to take the time to ENJOY and embrace the love, laughter and memories surrounding you and yours at the dinner table this Thanksgiving.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. Thank you to all my readers and supporters who give me courage to keep this blog going. I am thankful for you all!
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Thank you for reading! 😉