Tips to maintain your weight this Thanksgiving

 In Fitness, Healthy holidays, Holiday moderation, Mind-body connection, Nutrition

Ah, Thanksgiving; the holiday that we give thanks for all our many blessings by stuffing ourselves senseless and stressing out about hosting and family dynamics. This can mean packing on unwanted pounds for many Americans, so here are some tips to help avoid that:

1. Get in your morning workout before the feast! You will reduce your stress, speed up your metabolism, and chances are you’ll make better food choices if you started your day out healthy. Most towns have at least one Turkey Trot of varying distances, but the average is a 5k. This is a distance the whole family can enjoy together as well! If that doesn’t appeal to you, most health clubs have a class or two in the mornings, or you can do some at-home yoga or go for a walk to calm your breathing and steady your mind.

2. If you’re hosting, you have control over the ingredients you use and how you prepare your food. Avoid greasy gravies and mass amounts of butter. And since when do sweet potatoes need marshmallows? They’re already sweet and perfect on their own! If you’re going to someone else’s house, bring a healthy side that you know you can eat and enjoy. This way, you’re being a good houseguest and advocating for your own health! It’s a win-win! For ways to make traditional Thanksgiving foods healthier, click here.

3. Assess all the food before loading up your plate. Just like any buffet, evaluate your options and decide what you really want and what you can do without having. Avoid making your plate a carb fest and make sure you get some protein and veggies as well. For example, if your having sweet potatoes, you can probably do without regular mashed potatoes and stuffing. If you absolutely love all three, then limit your portion sizes so they all equal one serving together. (Same goes with desserts and pies). Eat the white meat turkey, and make sure you get your veggies in (preferably without butter and gravy on them).

4. We all like to imbibe a little during the holidays, so make sure you’re making the best choices there too. Red wine has healthy antioxidants so a few glasses won’t pack on too many unwanted calories. Craft beers, though heavier and more caloric, allow you to drink slower and are more filling, so chances are you’ll have less than you would if you were drinking a traditional light beer. Vodka, club soda and a splash of lime is a good choice at about 70 calories per drink and with minimal sugar. Avoid darker hard alcohols as they are sweeter and tend to have a lot of sugar. Same with mixers and juices.

As always, be mindful. Remember what the day is about; being thankful for your many blessings and not about seeing how much you can eat in one sitting. The average person puts on two pounds during the holiday season, and will add up to 20 pounds after 10 years if not managed. You can enjoy your holiday while practicing moderation.

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkeys!! 🦃✌🏽

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