by Dan Camp with contributions from Lorraine Fender-Chiarizzio
Okay so Thanksgiving is approaching and like you I am excited for all the yummy food. BUT sometimes that excitement can lead to you feeling the stuff bird you just ate! Do you savor the taste of all the great food, enjoy the company and appreciate the day for what it is? Or do you just eat to the point where you wished you wore pants with an elastic band? So here are a few tips to not feel like a stuffed turkey!
1. Exercise first in the morning, even if it’s a brisk walk, bring the family. Some say because it’s a holiday it needs to be a day off of exercise, if anything that is more reason to get a workout in! We can probably assume you will be consuming a good amount of carbs (some not so good but that’s okay it’s Turkey Day!) so all the more reason to get that metabolism fired up and ready to burn! Anyone running a Turkey Trot?
2. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST!!!!! Many people do this…maybe you figured you didn’t need the extra calories…WRONG! Breakfast gets the metabolism cooking…it means “break the fast”. Have some protein like eggs/egg whites with some veggies. The protein will keep you fuller longer so you aren’t starving when all the goodies hit the table.
3. WATER, WATER, WATER!!! You probably can figure this one out, it will help fill your belly so you eat a bit less and helps with all the extra sodium you are probably going to get with some of the food being served.
4. Bring a veggie tray with you as an appetizer if you don’t think they have one. Raw veggies are great for snacking and will prevent you from overeating. Make your own veggie dip with a light sour cream or buy a healthier version and put in a unmarked container, I bet no one will even know they are eating a healthier version of dip!
5. DECIDE…are you going to fill your plate once with everything you want or are you hitting it like it’s an all you can eat buffet? Let’s think here, most of the time you go back for seconds within minutes of finishing plate #1, give yourself 15-20min, I bet you won’t feel like re-filling. Plus if you DECIDED to not want to feel like a stuffed turkey then that’s it, DECISION made, one plate full of all you want and that’s it until dessert. You will feel proud of yourself and physically feel better!
6. Food choices…opt for white meat not dark. Keep an eye on the starchy carbs and how much. Throw extra white meat on your plate and less buttery mashed potatoes, candied sweet potato, stuffing, and rolls. Oh and gravy…keep to a minimum, try having it on the side and dip your fork in it with each bite rather than pouring it on.
7. PAY ATTENTION…what I mean is take your time chewing, savor the flavors, appreciate what you’re eating, be grateful and enjoy your company and the day itself, don’t make it ALL about FOOD!
8. Drink water with your wine or if you are having some other alcoholic beverage. It helps slow down the buzz you might get which could lead to uncontrolled eating, can help avoid hangover headaches and it will keep you hydrated as alcohol is a diuretic.
9. Okay, chow time is over, don’t head for the recliner! See who is willing to take a stroll with you, get out and feel great about the day. If it’s yucky out then help clean up, stay occupied and don’t pick, those picks ADD UP. Just do something!
10. Ahhh leftovers…that doesn’t mean an entire Thanksgiving dinner all over again…enough said
Hope that helps, Happy Thanksgiving!
[Editor’s Note: Dan Camp is a certified STRIDE Instructor and a certified Sports Nutrition Consultant who has raced with Spartan in Staten Island. Dan Camp’s posts from http://fitasylum.com/ will regularly be making an appearance on the Spartan Blog.]