Ah, Thanksgiving, an American holiday filled with family, friends, and of course, a lot of food. Some may argue this holiday is centered around divulgence and the kickoff for many celebrations to come. Even the most health conscious and calorie-counting fitness-buffs come face to face with temptation as they sit down at their dining room tables this holiday.
Here at MJM Fitness, we commend those that stick to their diets this Thanksgiving, but we also support those who choose to indulge and enjoy their time with their loved ones. As a rule of thumb, we recommend aiming to maintain your weight, rather than dreadfully gaining. This practice is easier than it sounds! Here's how:
Know Your Weight
Step on the scale today before the weekend's festivities begin and be conscience of the number you see. Throughout the weekend, keep this number in the back of your mind and work to ensure it doesn't change.
Select Reasonable Sized Portions
Here's the thing: We've all been looking forward to this day for a while, and many of us have been dreaming about filling our plates with cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing and turkey. Be conscious of this excitement and make sure that you don't let this lead to over indulgence. When the time comes to fill up your plate, take a look around the table and survey all of the food available. Think about how each of these servings will fill up your plate, and start with the foods that you absolutely can't live without.
Take Three Bites
Did you know that after three mouthfuls of a meal, you stop tasting the flavors of your food? Focus on this as you're eating dinner this holiday. That extra spoonful of mashed potatoes seems like a better idea than it really is...
Breakup Your Plate
Three is the magic number! When setting your plate, break it up into three sections: Vegetables, Grains and Proteins.
Vegetables: String beans, salad, asparagus, for example.
Grains (or carbs): Stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes.
Eat in Order
Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables first. All of these are filled with water and fiber and will make you feel fuller quicker.
Take Your Time!
We've waited all year for this Turkey dinner. Take your time, and savor every bite! It takes our brains approximately 20 minutes to register that we're full. Remember this when you're eating and aim to eat slowly and more consciously.
Skip the Seconds
The temptation to reload your plate is there, but it's not necessary and you'll likely regret the decision not long after. Save room for dessert and leftovers the next day!
Enjoy Your Dessert
Yes, we said it. Enjoy your dessert! After all, it is Thanksgiving, but remember to do this within reason. You don't need the biggest slice of apple pie there is. Remember the three bites rule here!
This is important: The more you drink, the more empty calories you'll obtain, and the more likely you are to forget the rules. If you want to drink, fill up your glass with ice and then add the alcohol to avoid over-pouring. Drink water between each alcoholic beverage so that you stay hydrated. And, add soda, not juices, to your beverages. Juices are loaded with sugar that will turn to fat.
Lastly, and arguably the most important rule of all, enjoy yourself! Be thankful for this day, all the friends and family you are surronded by, and for all that your body is capable of.