Staying Healthy This Thanksgiving

The days have gotten shorter. The weather has gotten colder. We have officially entered the start of the holiday season. With Halloween already out of the way, the next holiday on the way is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to get together with friends and family to indulge in delicious foods and drinks. It’s a time to share fun memories with each other and to look back at everything in the year you are most thankful for. However, it can be difficult to keep up with your healthy lifestyle during this time.

While there is nothing wrong with celebrating Thanksgiving by eating fantastic food, it can get in the way of your fitness journey. The average man should only consumer somewhere between 2000 to 3000 calories a day while the average woman should consume between 1600 and 2400 calories.

However, on Thanksgiving, the average American consumes anywhere from 3000 to 4500 calories on Thanksgiving alone, according to the Calorie Control Council. This is far more than any person should consume in one day.

Even though Thanksgiving is known as a day of overeating, it doesn’t have to be. Fitness Nation is here to help you stay as healthy as possible this holiday season by providing you with some helpful tips and tricks.

Eat a Breakfast

It has become very popular to essentially fast until it is time to eat your Thanksgiving meal. However, that is not the healthiest nor the best strategy. When you starve yourself for one big meal, you often end up overeating.

Eating a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. After eating breakfast, your appetite and energy intake for the day is affected. Your metabolic and endocrine responses to foods you eat later are also affected.

Eating earlier in the day allows you to eat less and healthier during your Thanksgiving meal.

Get Active

Before your Thanksgiving feast, try your best to get in some form of exercise. While the day may seem like it’s just for eating delicious food, there are plenty of opportunities to get active. Many communities offer a Turkey Trot for families on this holiday. These marathons often range from one mile to as long as 10 kilometers. Make it a family affair. After the race is complete, you will feel like you earned your meal.

If you are short on time, take an early walk around the neighborhood. A one-hour walk can burn as much as 250 calories.

Once everyone has finished their Thanksgiving meal, invite the family outside to play a game of tag football. This not only gets the whole family involved, but it’s a great way to burn off some calories. If football isn’t your thing, take the family on a nice stroll throughout the neighborhood if the weather permits.

Know Your Limits

No one knows you better than yourself. Just because Thanksgiving is known for overeating and stuffing your face with seemingly endless amounts of food doesn’t mean you have to do it.  You should never feel like you have to eat to the point of feeling overstuffed. Recognize the moment you feel satisfied. You should aim to eat only what you need to satisfy your hunger. Overeating can be very dangerous for your body if you aren’t careful.

To help you eat less, try eating slowly. When you eat slowly, you reduce how many calories you consume per minute. Also, your body will feel fuller much quicker. This helps you eat less. There is no need to rush when eating. Chances are there will be no shortage of food. Take your time and enjoy the flavors.

Focus on Portion Control

If you are worried about overeating this Thanksgiving, make portion control a priority. Many people tend to overserve themselves, especially over the holidays. If you want to limit the food you eat, trying using a smaller plate. Research shows that using smaller plates can help you consumer 22% fewer calories.

When you are filling your plate, make sure you are balancing your foods. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and the final quarter with healthy starchy foods. By portioning your food this way, you ensure your body gets the right nutrients it needs while lowering your calorie intake.

Skip Seconds

We know how tempting it may be to go back for more food after you’ve finished your first plate. However, it isn’t the best for your body, often leading to overeating. Give yourself about 20 minutes before you go for that second plate. It can take as long as 20 minutes for your body to feel full. If your body feels satisfied, avoid another serving. Instead, pack up some food to take home for leftovers. After all, leftovers are arguably one of the best parts of Thanksgiving!

You can use this same way of thinking when it comes to desserts. If you are set on enjoying dessert, eat less during your main meal to save room. This helps you avoid overeating while letting you savor your dessert.

Get Some Sleep

The majority of people have the day of Thanksgiving off from work, which means you shouldn’t have to stress about getting up early to rush off to the office. There should be no problem getting your recommended eight hours of sleep. When you fail to let your body get the rest it needs, it often leads to an increased appetite, which, in turn, leads to overeating.

As November passes by, many people are getting ready for a day of family, fun, and food on Thanksgiving. However, overeating is often a major problem for many on this joyous holiday. All of this food can wreck your healthy lifestyle and set you back on your fitness journey. Once the holiday is over, Fitness Nation will be here to help you get back on track.