‘Tis the season of eating delicious food and staying in because ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’. Which of course translates to ‘tis the season to bring on the winter weight.
As we all know by now, gaining and losing pounds rapidly isn’t good for your body or metabolism. If you’re like us, maybe you’re starting to worry about how you’ll get through the winter without flushing all the progress you made in health down the drain. And if you’re using Google, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a whole load of healthy recipes for Thanksgiving that you can use to replace that traditional dinner. But maybe you’re really looking forward to those mashed potatoes and gravy and you know there’s no way you’d be happy spending Thanksgiving nibbling on some kale.
So here is our advice that will hopefully help you get through the holiday season without packing on any extra weight.
Don’t starve yourself before Thanksgiving.
You might find yourself trying to be sneaky by drastically reducing your food intake in the days before Thanksgiving, but that will do more harm than good! Your body will think it may not get food for a while which means it will go into starvation mode. All the turkey you drowned in gravy is going to be stored in your body for later instead of used as energy for your body now. Make sure you eat a small and healthy breakfast the day of your Thanksgiving feast as it will make you less hungry once you’ve all gathered for your meal, and you won’t feel as guilty for allowing yourself some slack on this special occasion.
Eat with your mouth, not with your eyes.
If you’ve been carefully keeping an eye on your nutrition, you’ve likely erased some food from your daily menu. They might make a come-back at your Thanksgiving table. Maybe you’ll tell yourself an excuse we all use ‘It’s just for today, it can’t really hurt!’ and then pile your plate up with not-so-healthy goodies. Stop your eyes from making the decision, piling up all of the food you’ve missed, and think about how much food you actually need to be satisfied. Take small portions of everything you want first, and add more if you are still hungry after cleaning off your plate.
Be smart with leftovers.
Some would say that one of the best parts of Thanksgiving are the leftovers. When you’re trying to watch your weight or health - they’re the worst. Leftovers are the best excuse you need to extend a one-day treat into a week-long food binge. How you can try to avoid it is by getting creative with your leftovers. For example, make a salad with the leftover turkey! You still get to enjoy delicious food, but in a healthy way!
Make sure not to skip your exercise!
Cold weather and the general mood days before or after holidays isn’t really one that’ll motivate you to be active. Most likely, you’d prefer to just lounge on your comfortable couch with your family and watch TV or play a game. If you want to spend more time with loved ones, ask them to go for a walk with you or choose a game that will have you moving around instead of just sitting down positioning pieces on a board. If they don’t seem to be sharing your enthusiasm for some active fun, take 15 or 20 minutes in the morning and evening to do some exercising at home. It won’t take much time but will help greatly with digestion as well as reduce your potential feelings of guilt.
Be thankful to yourself and your progress.
This one is most important of all. Don’t beat yourself up. The first step towards success is trying, and you took that step the minute you made your health a priority! As long as you stay motivated by reminding yourself why you’re doing this, and don’t use the holidays as an excuse to ‘take a break’, one day won’t be a downfall. The main thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t use the holidays as an excuse to give up. Once you’ve started pushing back the date when you’re going to ‘start back up with your nutrition planning’, it’s a slippery slope to finding yourself at ground 0 again.
Healthy living is exactly that - a lifestyle that you need to live. Making an exception for a day won’t ruin you, and you don’t need to beat yourself up about it. Just make sure that the one day stays at that, and doesn’t become a whole week.
Have a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving!