Thanksgiving Health and Fitness Tips

Facebook Twitter Pinterest

In the interest of the season, and considering that I have several groups of people that I am coaching in Beachbody Challenge groups right now, I thought it would be good to put down some of my thoughts on how you can make it through Thanksgiving without completely losing focus and progress on your health and fitness journey.

I am hoping that you will find these tips to be manageable and reasonable.  I am not intending this as a guide on how to be “that guy” at the party that won’t eat anything and explains to everyone else how bad it is for them.  My advice to you on Thanksgiving is in fact:  “Don’t be that guy”.  Instead just follow these basic guidelines (and if someone asks you about health and fitness…don’t be afraid to be that guy that helps someone out and provides motivation!):

 1)       Try to make the “Thanksgiving Feast” last one day and not the entire 4 day weekend and beyond.  In other words, you know you are going to have a big meal on Thursday, right?….fine…just don’t let that turn into big meals on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well.  Have a little fun on Thursday and get back on track.  Some of the other tips will help you with this one as well.

2)      DO NOT…I repeat…DO NOT weigh yourself on Friday morning!  It will be a bad indicator and could send you into a downward spiral…you might, in frustration, go right downstairs and get a piece of leftover pie (unless you follow the next tip).  Get back on track with healthy eating and workouts on Friday and wait until Sunday or so to weigh yourself at the earliest.

3)      Leftovers:  This is often the reason that tip 1) is necessary and the reason that the frustration pie is even possible from tip 2).  Here are some thoughts:

  • If Thanksgiving is at your house and relatives are over, send them away with all of the unhealthy leftovers (especially the young ones that can handle the leftover pie).  Now, I don’t mean to propagate unhealthy eating in others, but your goals are important so offer it to them and try to get it out of your house.  If they have goals, they will be doing tip below and then we have an issue.
  • If Thanksgiving is at someone else’s house and they offer leftovers for you to take home, agree only to take home things like turkey and veggies that are healthy.  DO NOT take home pumpkin pie and other unhealthy treats
  • If no one will take the unhealthy leftovers, what do you do?  Well, your last option should be to eat them just because no one else will.  How silly is that?  Take them to work, offer them to neighbors, or throw them away (did I say that?).  Yes, just get rid of them.

4)      Be conscious of your beverage intake.  Between alcoholic beverages, juices, coffees, egg nogs (I know that is more Christmas than Thanksgiving), and other beverages, the calories and sugar can add up quicker than you think.  Again, I am not saying that you can’t have a beer or a glass of wine…just be conscious of how much you are having and don’t overdo it.  One idea is to drink plenty of water along with whatever other beverage you choose.

5)      Try loading your plate with the healthier stuff first and then adding the unhealthy stuff in the leftover space (if there is any).  You can certainly still get a taste of the bad stuff that way without going crazy.

6)      Some ways to make some of the foods a little more healthy if you so choose:

  • Go skinless with the turkey cuts you pick.  Just taking the skin off will shave some of the fat and cholesterol.
  • If you are making the mashed potatoes, try substituting some cooked cauliflower in (even quite a high ratio) and I can almost guarantee that no one will notice (especially when they pile the gravy on).  Here is a recipe that we have used with NO potatoes…just replace ALL of the potatoes with a head of cauliflower and it is delicious!  RECIPE HERE

7)      Try not to go into Thanksgiving dinner on an empty stomach.  Eat breakfast (preferably a healthy one like Shakeology) and have some healthy snacks going into the big meal so that you are not as likely to gorge yourself.

8)      Try getting a good workout in before the big meal and an easy walk in after the big meal.  You will feel a whole lot better about yourself if you do!

Anyway, have fun this Thanksgiving and don’t be “that guy”….just follow the tips to keep it manageable and then get back on track 100% on Friday!

Comments are closed.