Make it Through Thanksgiving Without Feeling Like a Stuffed Turkey

Thanksgiving is a holiday where many of us gobble until we wobble.  Unfortunately, that can mean excessive weight gain from just one day of over-consumption.  While I like the nutrition plan of everything in moderation, it’s taken to the extreme on this particular day.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pies, and all of the fixings associated with this holiday will be consumed.  You can even count on several people taking in some liquid calories in the form of alcoholic beverages.

Come Black Friday, everyone is still in a food coma and don’t feel like getting up off the couch and shopping for some deals.  They feel uncomfortable simply sitting there breathing let alone going out and fighting the crowds.  So, I’m here to save your holiday by helping you make it through Thanksgiving without feeling like a stuffed turkey.

1. Exercise the morning of

The best thing you can do is start your day on a good foot by hitting the gym and getting in your workout for the day.  This will get your metabolism revving and help you burn calories before even looking at plates full of delicious food.

2. Limit liquid calories

I understand that when you are around friends and family you might like to partake in some alcoholic beverages – whether they be in form of beer, wine or liquor.  Try to limit how much you consume by only having one or two drinks max.  Try to stick to water or another zero-calorie if you can.  Trust me, you’ll probably eat enough calories through your meals as is, adding liquid calories is simply insult to injury.  In fact, drink a glass of water before you sit down for the meal to kickstart having volume in your stomach to trick your brain that you’re full.  This will prevent you from overeating.

3. Fill up on protein, fat, healthy carbs and fiber FIRST

Many gatherings we all attend have appetizers prior to the full meal.  This is the perfect time to “pre-game” in a sense where you can frontload food that will help you feel satiated so you aren’t going back for fourths or fifths of the main dish or dessert.  That means hitting up the appetizers that are higher in protein, fat and fiber.  The options to consider are nuts, vegetables, cheese and if there’s some shrimp with cocktail sauce, load up.  All of these items are not only healthy food choices, but can help you add some volume to your stomach prior to the main dish – ultimately, preventing you from stuffing your face.

4. Know when to step away

Something we’ve all faced a time or two (okay, maybe more often than we want to share) is going back for seconds (or sevenths) after we’ve already had enough.  Our brain hasn’t yet sent the signal that we are full so we simply keep eating.  You need to know when to step away.  The best way to do this is by planning ahead.  Plan one or two dishes and know that once you hit that, you’re DONE.

Your plate should be made of primarily protein (turkey) and then you can fill the rest in with healthy carbs (vegetables) and some “not-so-healthy” choices as well.  But, know your limit and stick to the game plan.  Once you hit it, go put your plate in the sink or dishwasher and raise the white flag.  Mission accomplished.

5. Get up and move after the meal

Your food is going to be settling and before you know it, you’re not going to want to move from the couch.  While the game plan to watch football all day/night might sound like a great idea, your scale will say differently in the morning.  Grab your buddies and/or family and head outside for a walk or since you’re probably already in the mood, go toss the football around for a little before dessert is served.  Burning off some extra calories post-meal is a great way to free up some additional calories so you don’t feel bad having a piece of that delicious pie later.

If you can adhere to these strategies, you will put yourself in a better position coming out of the holiday.  I’m not here to be the party police, you’re an adult and can make your own decisions.  But, I also know the wheels fall off of many diets on this day and I’d like to help prevent you from getting frustrated and taking two steps backward.  I wish you an amazing holiday surrounded by friends and family you love.

Article Courtesy Of Matt Weik