Although the Thanksgiving Holiday is a time of family and friends, giving thanks and maybe a football game or two, it’s also a time, for some, a food free for all that can quickly add unwanted inches to your waistline.
But, if you have a game plan you can enjoy the day without adding the extra wobble! Here are a few tips to keep your weight loss and fitness goals on track:
- Don’t exercise as an excuse to indulge. You might say to yourself, “oh I’ll have a second serving of mash potatoes.” Well, that extra 300 calories you can eat in under 15 seconds, will take you at least 40 minutes or more of moderate cardio to burn that off.
- Slow down. Allow your body to register the food you are putting in your mouth. For those fast gobblers, your body and brain can’t keep up with your mouth to know when it’s full. So 20 minutes is a good target amount of time to eat. Also include a sip of water before each bite.
- Cook with low-fat ingredients. There are many healthy substitutes for cooking a delicious meal. For example, try low fat, sodium free chicken broth, or low fat or fat free sour cream for the mash potatoes. Also, sugar substitutes can save you hundreds of extra calories. And remember to cook the stuffing outside of the bird vs. inside. Reach for white meat vs. brown meat.
- Holidays can be stressful times for many and is one of the main factors why people over eat during the holidays. If there are too many relatives, kids or barking dogs all sitting around in one room, instead of reaching for 2 extra bread muffins, or another beer, take a break, get up and walk outside for some nice fresh air. If you’re the one who is so kindly cooking, plan ahead and have everyone bring a dish.
- Watch out for pre dinner grazing. Sure, if you’re the cook, you can taste a little here and there. If you’re simply passing by the kitchen to “test” a few things before they are served, before you know it that could be an extra 500 calories.
- Lastly, wear tighter fitting clothes! Leave the elastic pants in the drawer or use them to wash the car.
Here is a helpful link to help you prepare healthy, low-fat dishes this Thanksgiving. Brought you to by the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thanksgiving-recipes/NU00643
I give thanks to all my friends and ohana on Maui.
Suzie Cooney is a certified personal trainer on Maui. Learn more about her and her services at www.suzietrainsmaui.com/blog
She can also be reached e: Suzie@SuzieTrainsMaui.com