Thursday, November 28, 2013

How To Attack Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving! Feeling guilty yet?  You know what I mean. You are either about to eat more than you should, or already have.  If your dinner table is like ours, there is enough food for several days. Turkey. Dressing. The sweet potatoes and the mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Grandma wants you to try her special dish, and the neighbor will be offended if you don't try their green bean casserole. Oh, and let's not forget the snack tray to help you with the hard work of watching those football games. Today is not the day to start your "diet", but neither is it a reason to be depressed. Enjoy the dinner. Be thankful for the blessing of food, friends, family and a plan for staying on track with your fitness goals.

Just yesterday an article on Time Magazine's web site says that the average Thanksgiving meal is about 4,500 calories.  That's two or three days of calories for most people. You might like the slide show comparisons to fast food choices.  A similar article appeared a couple of days ago on The Daily Apple that also reminds us that the total daily intake is likely much higher; there are those calories from breakfast, and the evening snack on leftovers.  Even so, have a plan to overcome this.  Here's how.

Portion Control

Go ahead, try everything. It's all good. Just be careful how much you take of each wonderful dish. Eat the turkey. Skip the gravy. Take a serving of mashed potatoes. Skip the gravy, or use just a little. Fill up ONE plate; one plate only, and don't pile it high. After all, you need to save room for the pie.

Take A Nap

Yes. Take a nap. Most of us don't get enough sleep, and your body burns calories better if you get plenty of rest. Tivo the football game and go to bed on time tonight. 

Take A Walk

After the food settles, lace up your sneakers and go for a walk. It will burn off some of those calories and get the metabolism fired up. Livestrong.com lists 31 proven benefits of walking including lowering blood pressure by five points, toning your ab muscles, boosting your endorphin level to improve mood, and building bone mass. ShareCare.Com calls it the anti-aging secret. The wonderful thing is that you don't need a gym membership and you can do it pretty much anytime of the day.

Need More Ideas

Outside magazine has a great article on ways to sneak in some 30-minute workouts during the holidays. Walking. Cycling. Running. Strength and conditioning. All possible in just 30 minutes. You could get one of those workouts done between football games. If you can't find 30 minutes, maybe you could find 10 minutes. Take a look at a nicely done post on LifeHack.Com that asks and answers the question, "How many calories can you burn in 10 minutes?"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat Right. Exercise. Get Plenty of Rest.
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