Thanksgiving is one of those times of the year where we all get to enjoy great food and hopefully some great company as well! I am not expecting anyone to be counting calories and macros along with skipping unhealthy foods for their Thanksgiving meal. I know I will not be skipping anything, unless it is shellfish because I am allergic! In fact, I have two Thanksgiving dinners this year. This Thursday at my girlfriend’s mom’s house and this Saturday at my brother’s house will both feature lots of great food! However, I will not be gaining any unnecessary weight. I have not done so in 11 years over Thanksgiving, and this is not the first time I have had two Thanksgiving dinners. Here are some tips I have implemented that have always worked well for me.
1.) Get some sort of exercise on Thanksgiving
I am not expecting you to do your normal Thursday routine. I will not be anywhere around where I can do my routine. Take a walk if the weather is not too cold. Play some Thanksgiving football with some friends. There are also a lot of Turkey Trots available for you to run as well. If the weather is miserable, then take it inside with some yoga, Pilates, plyometrics, calisthenics, or resistance band training. I wanted to suggest things that do not require you to carry heavy equipment around.
2.) Eat healthy the rest of the day on Thanksgiving, and do your best on the other days of your break.
Be extra careful earlier in the day, and load up on vegetables and lean proteins. Be mindful of grazing and snacking throughout the day. Be sure to save room for your special dinner, but do not starve yourself either.
3.) Eat protein first
Not everyone has vegetables on their menu, or if they do, it usually is not a low calorie option. Turkey breast is an excellent low calorie, high protein option. Eat your protein first. In fact, double up on your protein. Get 30-50 grams of protein in your system early on in your meal.
4.) Chew your food slowly
This was a tip I learned through my Precision Nutrition course and many experts will also tell you to do so. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that you’re full. If you finish everything in five minutes, you may likely still feel hungry and be tempted to fill that second plate even if you are not truly hungry. Plus, you are there to relax and enjoy family. There is no rush. You likely do not have go to work (with a few exceptions out there).
5.) Take a little bit of several desserts
I never had the biggest sweet tooth in the world. However, good homemade pies always made my mouth water. Last year, there were three Amish made pies my brother’s friends brought in. I wanted the pumpkin pie, the triple berry pie, and the apple pie. However, three slices of pie would have been way too much to consume from a calorie standpoint, and stomach capacity standpoint. I cut each piece into thirds, and enjoyed one serving of pie, while enjoying all three varieties.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Stay safe, enjoy your time off, and remember these tips as you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner!