Gearing Up for Turkey Time

I’m not sure how it happened, but here we are just a few days away from Thanksgiving 2012. Since many people have abbreviated work weeks and may also be busy prepping or packing up to travel for the holiday, I thought I’d offer an early dose of motivation on how to get through the traditionally gluttonous holiday.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. There are no gifts to buy and you can just enjoy quality time with family and friends. Of course, that quality time tends to be filled (or should I say stuffed?) with food, drink and football. Here are some tips to help you avoid overdoing it – at least when it comes to the food and drink:

  • Get in some morning activity: Even if you can’t get out of the house, you can still pop in an exercise DVD or bang out a Tabata or two wherever you have space to do push-ups or burpees. If you only have a short amount of time to escape the house, take a brisk power walk or abbreviated run. If your gym is open, get to a morning group exercise class or at least bang out some cardio and core work.
  • Don’t skip breakfast: Eat something sensible to get your metabolism moving and to avoid being ravenous when you dig into that holiday meal. If your Thanksgiving feast isn’t scheduled until late afternoon, make sure to follow breakfast with a small lunch or sensible snack so you don’t go overboard later. One of my favorite sensible fillers is a non-fat plain Greek yogurt with a serving of almonds mixed in. The protein-rich snack keeps me satisfied for hours!
  • Use a smaller plate (like a salad dish) for your meal: If there’s salad or veggies, load up on those first, then take some turkey. Use the remaining space for the potatoes, stuffing and other starches. (There won’t be as much room left as you’d have on a regular dinner plate.)
  • Savor the flavor: Eat slowly! If you do clean your plate, wait about 10 minutes before going back for round two. This will help you decide if you’re really hungry. If you aren’t, you’ll feel good knowing you had one helping – before moving on to dessert, of course!
  • Watch the alcohol intake: This is a good day to follow the every-other-drink-is-alcohol plan. Enjoy a glass of wine, beer or cocktail then have a glass of water of diet soda before moving on to the next libation.
  • Give away leftovers: Hosting the holiday feast? Don’t be shy about giving some of the uneaten turkey and trimmings to your guests.

If you have any “secrets” that help you enjoy the holiday without waking up feeling guilty on Black Friday, I’d love to hear about them! The holiday season is definitely challenging when it comes to watching our waistlines, but the good news there are some tricks that can help you continue your journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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About LauraLovesFitness

After spending more than 10 years in the communications industry, this lifetime fitness lover and newly certified fitness professional wants to share my passion for health and well-being with others.

Posted on November 19, 2012, in Fitness, Health, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Preparing your dishes early in the week helps cut down on the stress so all you need to do on Thanksgiving day is pop things in the oven and get a good workout! 🙂 I really like your suggestion about “every other drink” because it can be so easy to just enjoy glass after glass of your favorite cocktail. One thing I noticed this past week that’s helped me curb my “mindless eating” is to work out in the afternoon then have a protein shake before a big meal (I drink Sunwarrior). Also, while I’m cooking I snack on one of my favorite veggies–celery! I just grab a few stalks and start munching. I think it satisfies me more psychologically because I love crunchy, salty foods (and celery naturally has some salt) and sometimes I replace carbs with celery (e.g., finely chopped celery instead of rice with my chili.) This may not work if you hate celery, though! 🙂

    • Good morning, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to share some of your tips! I’m a big fan of prepping food early in the week to eat later. Also, snacking on celery sticks is a great idea. I do the same with carrots and I also like to keep some sliced watermelon in my fridge. If I’m craving something sweet, it does the trick. (I also am back to not keeping chocolate and sweets in the house now that my Sandy stash is gone.. unfortunately, because I ate all of it!) Thanks again for the feedback. Hope you have a fantastic day – and a very Happy Thanksgiving, too! 🙂

  2. I plan to hit the gym as early Thursday as I can and then to drink plenty of water all day and before dinner. I don’t hydrate as well when I’m at home (it’s easy for me while at work for some reason) and I hear 16oz or so before you sit down for the big meal might keep you from over indulging. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Sean! Thanks for the feedback! Yes, staying hydrated is a great tip! Also, drinking the water before the meal is a very good idea. I often try to drink a glass of water when I “think” I’m hungry to see if I can fend off the pangs. I’ll be sweating it out on Thursday morning, too. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

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