We’re not going to sugar coat this for you. The average person will consume between 3,000 and 5,000 calories around the Thanksgiving table. We never encourage our clients to count calories, but that number even has us at True 180 saying “Yikes”! The good news? You can enjoy all that Thanksgiving Day offers without throwing your fitness goals to the wayside. You can literally have your cake and eat it too with these five surefire tips:
1. Get enough sleep - Setting yourself up for success begins the night before. Give yourself a bedtime to ensure you’ll get between 7 and 9 hours of shut-eye. Not only does a solid night sleep help you make better decisions, but studies show that sleep deprivation increases levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate one’s appetite. Staying up all night prepping that turkey will only lead to a sleepier, grumpier, hungrier you the next day.
2. Get moving – Start your day with a pre-festivity activity. Enjoy a walk with a friend or family member, enter a local Turkey Trot, or simply enjoy some playtime with the kids!
3. Hydrate – We can’t stress enough the importance of drinking water throughout the day. Dehydration can confuse your body, often making it think it’s hungry when it’s actually just thirsty. Drinking plenty of water will help your stomach stay full and keep you from overeating.
4. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – Thanksgiving dinner is not a race to the finish line. Start slow, and enjoy every bit of it. Take it easy on the appetizers and don’t overindulge on foods you could eat any day of the year. Save your appetite for those holiday treats that only come around occasionally - and savor every bite! Eating slower and savoring your meal will give your brain time to realize when it’s full. Plus, you’ll enjoy actually tasting all that delicious food!
5. Treat yourself – The holidays shouldn’t be about restriction – but a little moderation can go a long way in maintaining your health and fitness goals. Go ahead and eat the pie. You can enjoy a slice of Pumpkin Pie without eating the entire thing. You can savor a glass of wine without downing the bottle. Set yourself up for success by deciding ahead of time which treat you want to indulge in and stick to it.
BONUS TIP: Make sure you have your post-Thanksgiving workout scheduled. With the gym closed on Friday, it’s a great time to join your friend who keeps nagging you to go to that spin class with them. Or give that at home workout a try. Would you rather get outdoors? Great! Plan a hike, or go for a bike ride. Whatever you choose, just make sure you keep moving. Your body will thank you!