inner engine fitness

building a better body

Tips for a healthy Thanksgiving

on November 22, 2012

It’s nearly Thanksgiving and you’ve been doing so well exercising and eating right.  So how do you handle the heaping portions on Thanksgiving?  Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re preparing for your big meal!

First of all, do not skip meals!  Breakfast is one of your biggest allies while trying to lose or even maintain your weight.  The first meal of the day is important for starting your metabolism and enabling you to have the energy to make it through this fun-filled day.  So, have a sensible breakfast tomorrow to get your engine started early!

Second, if you’re eating a big meal later in the day, make sure to have a light lunch or snack in the middle of the day.  By having your calories spread throughout the day, it gives your body the energy to burn in smaller amounts, instead of binging at one big meal later.  Remember that your body needs calories all day, not just a flood all at once! This is actually one of the secrets to shedding unwanted fat….shhh 🙂

Third, try to limit alcohol.  Alcohol packs quite a calorie punch, especially when paired up with high-fat foods.  There are 7 calories per gram in alcoholic beverages, so it sits in between a carb and a fat, a little closer to the fat in the calorie spectrum.  It also enables your body to hold onto more fat when it is consumed, making those calories more detrimental to your waistline.  So, if you must have an alcoholic beverage, choose wine or beer, as they tend to be more filling and consumed more slowly and with less calories than hard liquor.

Fourth, when it comes time for the big meal, remember to help yourself to veggies and fill the majority of your plate with lower calorie options, like steamed carrots, turkey and fresh green beans.  Save less room on your plate for stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, as these options tend to harbor a lot of fat and calories.

The fifth great technique is to enjoy a little bit of everything you like and savor the flavors, taking your time to eat.  By the time you are finished the food your plate, you should feel satisfied and too content to help yourself to seconds.  It’s definitely the seconds that can sabotage your good intentions.  If you still feel hungry and dessert will be a long time coming, choose salad, vegetables or turkey as second helping options.

Last but not least, don’t forget dessert if you want it.  A small piece of pumpkin pie is not going to derail your fitness efforts and pumpkin is in fact a superfood, so make sure to satisfy your emotional longing for things you wait all year for.  It really makes the occasion special if you don’t deprive yourself!

I hope these tips help you to navigate healthfully through your big day tomorrow.  Focus on the friends and family, as well as enjoying the food, and you are sure to have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

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