12 Ways to Stay Fit, Healthy and Sane This Thanksgiving
Here’s some food for thought: The average person consumes 3,000 to 5,000 calories around the Thanksgiving table! While eating Thanksgiving Day dinner often takes center stage during the holiday, that doesn’t mean we have to give up completely on good health. Take a look at my tips for a fit, healthy and sane holiday, without sacrificing any flavor or fun.
Sure there’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football on TV on Thanksgiving Day, but you can get in at least a little fitness during the day.
1. Get outside.
Do you rise and shine early? If so, go for a walk or run. Not only will you get some exercise but it will also put you in the right mindset to deal with that uncle that always drives you crazy.
2. Split up the chores.
If you’ve ever hosted a Thanksgiving Day dinner, you know there are a ton of things to get done. Everyday activities (like tidying up the family room) can burn more calories than you think. Even if you’re not hosting, I am sure your host would welcome you doing the dishes or swiffering the floor—not only does it lend a hand, it gets you moving too!
3. Find a turkey trot.
If up for the challenge, why not run a race on Thanksgiving morning! Some of the races are virtual and some are in person this year, but regardless of which you choose, you can still get the benefit of running or walking. If you’re in the Orlando area, we have several to choose from:
- Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k Virtual
- Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K & 10K
- Avalon Park Virtual Turkey Trot
- Cocoa Beach Turkey Trot 5k
- Florida Turkey Trot 5k in Oviedo
Before heading to the kitchen or the table, keep these healthy tips in mind to enjoy the festive food without going overboard.
Make sure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough H2O could feel like hunger pains, but actually be thirst.
5. Go easy or skip the apps.
You can eat cheese and crackers any day of the year. Save your appetite (and calorie consumption!) for Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the food you might only get once a year.
6. Use a smaller plate.
Research shows you’ll eat 22 percent fewer calories if you use a small plate so grab the appetizer plate for your dinner.
7. Chew slowly.
In one study, fast eaters consumed around three ounces of food per minute, while slowpokes only ate about two ounces. Chewing slowly could mean fewer calories consumed, so slow down and enjoy your meal.
8. Watch out for liquid calories.
Unfortunately, calories from alcohol can sneak up on us during the holidays. Go easy on the booze and stick to healthier cocktails like a vodka soda or a Bloody Mary to avoid excess sugar.
9. Skip the seconds.
Did you know that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s full? Wait 20 minutes before filling up the dinner plate again to see if you’re really still hungry. You’ll also save some food for leftovers and who doesn’t want to eat Thanksgiving Day leftovers?
10. Don’t deny dessert.
The holidays shouldn’t be about restricting certain foods, instead try to practice moderation. Instead of having 3 pieces of pie, pick the one that’s you’re favorite and enjoy!
An overdose of family and food can be stressful. Here are some ways to feel rested, calm and in control.
11. Inhale, exhale.
Stressed because you’re trying to have the perfect house while preparing the perfect meal while entertaining seven cousins and a house full of kids? Take six to 10 deep breaths. Better yet, enlist the help of some of these folks. Not only will all the tasks get done faster, but you’ll enjoy your time together more since your stress level will be lower.
Whether enduring too much family time or unable to resist eating a whole pumpkin pie (we get it), meditation can help lower stress levels. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet corner. I recommend using the app Headspace.
If you follow these 12 steps, you’ll emerge from Thanksgiving weekend feeling happy and healthy. If you need an extra push, contact me and I can set-up a training program for you during the holidays.