Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tone That Tush: Thanksgiving Addition

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (Halloween takes the trump card). I love getting together with family, friends, and loved ones. Enjoying scrumptious food while talking about what we are thankful for...it is just all around fantastic. Since I have moved to DC, I love the holiday even more...in DC we have the beautiful fall colors, crisp cool, Autumn air, and all of us Texas kids have an "Orphan Thanksgiving" since it is too expensive to fly home. It is a mix of old and new traditions and I love it...but of course the central theme of FOOD is the same, regardless of where you are!

It is estimated that the average American consumes roughly 3,000 calories on Turkey Day. That is more than most of us need for 2 days! I am all about enjoying such a special day but not to the extent that I am spending the next 3 weeks trying to work it off. So here are a few of my tips to have your turkey and your pie too without feeling sick to your stomach later:

1. Get Moving
Although it is fun to sit around and visit while the bird is cooking all day, try and get a bit of physical activity in. Gather the family for a game of touch football. Go for a walk with your mom. Sign up for a charity run. The point is do something to get that heart pumping...even if it is just for 30 minutes. Here in DC, my friends and I always sign up for a 5K Turkey Trot on the morning of Thanksgiving. All of the proceeds help feed the homeless in the area. So not only are you able to get in a bit of cardio, but you are also able to help those who may not have a warm meal to go home to. Win win in my book!
from the Turkey Trot 3 years ago
2. Eat Breakfast
One of the biggest misconceptions people make for "special occasion" meals is the "save up" mentality. This is where an individual skips meals or snacks throughout the day to save up room for a meal later. THIS IS HORRIBLE. Not only will you make yourself sick, but you just set yourself up to overeat insatiably. A better approach is to eat small protein/fiber rich meals throughout the day to curb your hunger but not your appetite. This will not only keep you from overeating, but it will also make you feel more satisfied and content when the meal is over...not gross.
Oatmeal...a great breakfast that keeps you full and satisfied but not stuffed

3. Get Rid Of The All Or Nothing Mentality
On special occasions or certain meals sometimes we have the all or nothing mentality. "Well, hell, I already ate horribly. Might as well throw in the towel and keep going."Then not only do you eat 3 servings of Thanksgiving dinner, but you have pie for dinner and a late night snack. What? Aunt Ida made her famous chocolate chip cookies. Well I will have 6. Don't do this. Just because it is Thanksgiving doesn't mean you HAVE to gorge on any and everything. Food on the table doesn't have to be eaten. Pick the things you truly love because you really want them. Not just because they are there. Then when you are full stop. Listen to your stomach queues. Truly savor every bite. When we are conscious of what we are eating, the experience is not only more enjoyable but one is also able to tap into when their body is telling them they are full and safisfied. 
Just because it is Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to eat the whole bird ;)

4. Enjoy Yourself
Don't stress yourself out to much on what you should and shouldn't eat. You want to celebrate after all. Instead of thinking of things as bad as good have all of your favorites in moderation. This goes in hand with tip 3.
Don't stress too much...it is about enjoying yourself too!

5. Forgive Yourself For Slip Ups
Now lets just say Turkey Day gets here and tips 1-4 fly out the window. It's ok! Don't give yourself a guilt trip and then have pie for breakfast for a week because "you already messed up". Just start right over on your next meal. If you enjoy your thanksgiving dinner at lunch time, have an open face turkey sandwich/light salad for dinner and if you are an evening diner, get on track the next morning at breakfast. One large meal really isn't going to make you gain ten pounds, but the eating that commences after the main event can. So commit to getting on the healthy track asap and you will be as good as gold!
Have a martini or two and start over tomorrow :)

I hope these tips help you. They definitely help me.

What is your favorite tip for staying slim during the Holidays?

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