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How to Stay Healthy(ish) On Thanksgiving

ImageHey Everyone! Happy Holidays! Yes, I realize Thanksgiving is not for another two days, but with traveling tomorrow and celebrating Thursday, this might be my last post for a few days. Saturday, I shared with you a great treadmill HIIT workout to help burn some pre or post calories for Thanksgiving, so today I thought I would share my tips for being healthy(ish) on Thanksgiving.

Note: I am a full believer that on Holidays, it is the time to splurge and eat meals you would not typically try, but to save myself some guilt and not feel as bad, I follow these tips to make my holidays are more successful in the health field. Hey, my blog has the word sweets in it for a reason, you better believe my sweet tooth will be in full gear on Thursday! I cannot wait!

1. Plan extra workouts the week before the Holidays

  • You’ll burn some extra calories, relieve some holiday stress, and feel great going into the holiday!
  • This week I planned a few “two a days” where I do fasted cardio in the mornings, followed by HIIT cardio at night and / or some heavy lifting. For example: Yesterday, I did 45 min on the arc trainer, took a walk on my lunch break, 20 min sprints on the treadmill, and a 45 min barre class. If you plan it right, the little things help burn a lot of calories!

2. Eat greens, then eat the goods 

  • Before you dive head first into all the Thanksgiving goodness, start with a plate of vegetables. No, I am not talking about the butter loaded green bean casserole, I mean a salad or steamed veggies that are almost always served as a side dish. By eating some type of healthy thing before you indulge, you’ll feel better about it later and chances are you’ll eat less from all the fiber vegetables provide you!

3. Eat slow, enjoy your meal

  • Please tell me I am not the only one who eats my Thanksgiving food so fast, I become way overfull an hour later. I promised myself I would not do this this year after reading many articles that talk about how the digestion system at least takes 20 minutes to process to brain that it is full. So, sit back and enjoy every bite instead of shoving the piles in your mouth. Breath, enjoy, and trust me there will be plenty of food still there 20 mins later.

4. Take breaks between courses

  • Nobody ever made a rule that you had to enjoy the food all in one sitting. Save the dessert or seconds, go for a walk outside and let your body digest some of the food you just ate. When you are ready for more (hey we all make second plates), and trust me if you wait a little bit you will not eat as much as your brain thinks you want, then enjoy. Save the dessert for later, or even the next day. It will still be there!

5. Prepare some clean meals for post-Thanksgiving eats 

  • Since I will be traveling back home on Sunday, my weekly ritual (see last post) will not happen. I probably will not go grocery shopping or have time (and energy) to make some meals for the week. So, what did an OCD planner like myself do this week??? I prepped and froze some clean eats to have when I return. I have some butternut squash and pumpkin stew, chicken and sweet potato, and Mexican fish all in the freezer for me to consume next week! I am so happy I will not have to worry about returning to my clean eating when I get back from a long weekend of traveling and indulging.

6. Plan workouts for next week

  • Just like planning some extra clean meals for next week, I also scheudled some classes that will help me burn of the turkey and stuffing! On Sunday, I am going to my favorite cycling studio near my parents house to take their new rowing class they are offering! 45 min row + 15 min stretch and strength = one big calorie burn. I also planned body pump classes and a long run if the weather permits too. I feel much better going into Thanksgiving knowing I have set ways to release the guilt of indulging in food I love to eat, I know you will too!

7. Enjoy! 

  • Like I mentioned before, it is the holidays. This time comes once a year, you are not the only one who will be indulging in wine and great food, so don’t worry. If you want that extra slice of pie, eat it. You will not have this opportunity for great food until maybe….. Christmas. That is one whole month to sweat it out or do what you need to make you feel better about some “naughty” eating. I know the guilt might not go away, but if you follow my tips and still want some extra food, no sweat. We all need those moments to ourselves! So let go  of all the guilty, worry, and stress the holiday’s bring and just let back and enjoy for even one day of the year. I promise you’ll be okay!

So there are my tips! I hope they help! Stay healthy(ish) this Thanksgiving and let me know what your favorite food you are going to indulge in on Thursday. I would have to say mine is sweet potato anything. The casserole, the potato, and the pie are all winners in my book!

Enjoy your time with family and friends!

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