Holidays are for relaxation and spending time with loved ones. Still, there is a balance between really enjoying a holiday and going overboard. We want to share our advice to make the most of special days like Thanksgiving, and still feeling fit and energized!
Get up and move. The goal is not to burn off the day’s calories, but instead to move your body with an activity you enjoy. Get some intentional movement, whether that means heading to Coastal Fitness for your usual group exercise class, joining a local turkey trot, going for a crisp walk outside, or spending the day on your feet in the kitchen. Sluggishness begets sluggishness. If you just veg out on the couch, you won’t have the energy to truly enjoy the day.
Stay on schedule. The classic mistake is to try to eat very little early on Thanksgiving day, or even the days leading up to Thanksgiving. This is not a good (or healthy) idea. You can’t “save” calories for later. Instead, stay on track with your regular meals and snacks to stay satisfied. You will be far less likely to go completely overboard at dinner, and you’ll be better able to choose foods that you love instead of eating everything in sight.
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! Make a concerted effort to get plenty of extra water the week of a holiday. You will be enjoying rich foods with a lot of sodium, and probably some alcohol too. Stay hydrated if you don’t want to wake up feeling awful on Black Friday. Drinking water is also a helpful tool to keep your appetite level in check. Sometimes we feel like eating when we aren’t really hungry. Reach for a glass of water before you go back for another round of appetizers. You may find that you’re actually satisfied once you aren’t thirsty anymore.
Avoid eating because it’s there. Many people fall into the trap of eating everything in sight on a holiday because you only get ONE DAY to enjoy it. Right? Wrong. Chances are, you will have leftovers in your fridge for three weeks. And you can make a lot of traditional dishes, like mashed potatoes, whenever you want! Indulge in the foods that are really special, and don’t feel even a moment of guilt. And, if you think you may be “eating because it’s there,” reach for that water again. If you still want it after hydrating, then enjoy every bite.
It’s all about the bounce back! Even if you overdo it on Thanksgiving, remember that it’s just one day. It isn’t possible to make any real negative impact on your weight, let alone your health, with one day of indulging. Just like you can’t make a positive impact with a single day of healthy eating! The real trouble comes in when we follow Thanksgiving dinner up with a month of holiday overindulging. We can’t stress this enough: skip the scale for a few days after Thanksgiving (water retention can cause the scale to shoot up). Just wake up and jump right back into your normal, healthy routine.
We at Coastal Fitness are so thankful for our fit family. Please share how you plan to make the most of your holiday this year.