How to Eat Healthy and Survive Thanksgiving
Written by: Coach Slater
Thanksgiving and food go hand in hand. This year, while being thankful for our families, friendships, and all of our other blessings, let’s also be thankful for a healthy body. Here are some tips on how you can enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling guilty at the end of the day.
Workout in the Morning
Start the day with exercise! Taking just 30min before your day gets too crazy can help you stay on track with your food, and give you a little more buffer for additional carbs that day. We’ve got classes at 9a, 10a, and 11a this Thanksgiving, so come in and start the day right!
Make It Yourself
If there’s something you *really* want to enjoy, but know your family’s way of making it isn’t the healthiest, then offer to bring it instead. That way, you know what’s in it, and you’ll take some stress off the host. For instance, spiced sweet potatoes with nutmeg and cinnamon rather than brown sugar. Prepare a few vegetable dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed spinach and garlic, or an arugula salad. Use dried fruit for half the chocolate chips in cookies, or make some pumpkin or banana bread.
Game Plan the Menu
If you can’t make the items yourself, then map out the things that are completely off-limits, and the things that are safe. Set boundaries and stick to them. If you’re tempted to overeat because you won’t see these dishes for another year, then put a plate of food in the fridge to enjoy tomorrow. It will taste better when you’re able to savor each bite, rather than stuffing extra bites into an already full stomach.
Protein and Veggies
When all else fails, make sure the majority of your meals consist of lean protein and vegetables. Not only are these choices healthier, but they’re also filling, which will decrease the temptation to choose the less healthy options.
It’s easier to overeat when you eat quickly. Slow down your eating and you’ll be surprised how full you get on less food. Enjoy the conversations around the table and put the fork down in between bites.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Remember when your parents made you finish everything on your plate and eat grandma’s cranberry sauces even though you hated it? You’re an adult now. You can say no. Resist the peer pressure to overeat. Grandma will be just fine.
This will help curb your appetite and keep you well-hydrated to minimize jet/travel lag. Try to avoid soda and alcohol because those calories add up quickly… Pint of beer = 150 calories, glass of wine = 200 calories, martini = 250 calories, margarita = 300-800 calories (depending how you make it), spiked eggnog = 400 calories.
Don’t Stress Out
Stressing out over food actually makes your body react worse to it. If you had a bad meal, eat better in the next one and get back on track. Don’t let one bad decision make you spiral out of control.
Make a point to get up and move around every hour or so, even if it only includes some walking and stretching. Offer to walk the family dog. Challenge your younger cousins to a “death by burpees” contest. Staying active will keep you feeling good and burn off some extra calories.
Go the F*ck to Sleep
Holiday parties and family functions often result in late-nights and early-mornings. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll tend to eat more, and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food along the way. Aim for 7+ hours per night to guard against mindless eating.