Healthy Holiday Eating Tips to Help You Continue to Lose Weight
Considering that a traditional Thanksgiving Meal has more calories than some women should eat in an entire day, there are some tips I want you to follow to be sure that the only thing stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey and not YOU! So, how do you avoid weight gain or at least maintain your figure during the Holidays? It really is simple math, but you have to be willing to look at the numbers……
The Unpalatable Reality
Let’s put things in perspective. Let’s say you are going to your family’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner and when you arrive you start with one glass of wine and a few tortilla chips and dip while you are visiting. Then you sit down to a modest portion (6oz) of white and dark turkey, half a cup each of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole and on the side, a dinner roll. After dinner you top it off with a slice of apple pie. Sounds reasonable, not overdoing it, right? Well that one dinner alone comes to… wait for it….. 1760 calories! You would need to walk 17.6 miles at a good pace to burn off that meal! And that doesn’t even include everything else you ate that day. Since it only takes an extra 3500 calories than what your body burns to create a pound of body fat, you are already half way there in one day!
Chances are that if you stop there, eat well and exercise the week before and after, you won’t see much movement on the scale. However, if you slack off your workouts, indulge for days, eat lots of leftovers and comfort food, you could easily gain 3-5lbs of stored body fat, in just a week or two. This is fat that could prevent you from zipping up your jeans, fitting in your holiday dress and from looking and feeling your best this holiday season. Now when you finally get back to your workouts, you will be working on the new fat you gained not, the original goals you started with.
The Yummy Solutions
Follow my top six tips for keeping your shape and maybe even trimming up your figure from Thanksgiving Meal to New Years Eve parties…… and beyond!
1. Don’t go hungry. Never put yourself in a situation where you are 1) Starving and 2) have access to tons of high calorie foods. Take the edge off with some high fiber and/or moderate protein foods 30-60 minutes BEFORE the party or meal.
2. Exercise, and then do some more. Did you workout this morning? Great, now tonight, go for a walk, get active. On the weekend rake some leaves, clean out the garage and don’t be bum! The more calories your body burns the less likely you are to gain weight. I know, duh right? Well sometimes it’s good to be reminded that catching up on with your DVR is not helping to avoid the tummy bulge or saddlebags, unless of course you are doing it on the treadmill!
3. Save it. Is your Mom’s casserole to die for and the stuffing just ok? Why waste calories on the stuff (no pun intended) you don’t LOVE or things you can eat every other day of the week? Try a taste of everything you want, but save your calories for the good stuff without overindulging in them.
4. During big meals keep it balanced and stay in control. Serve your own plate and look at it in fourths. One fourth will include one serving of protein (lean meats), another fourth should be one serving of carbohydrates (a roll, potatoes, stuffing) and the last half of your plate can be 2-3 small servings veggies (green beans, salad, peas). Balancing carbs with protein and fiber will help regulate your blood sugar (which is key for weight management), keep you more satisfied and help avoid the bulge. Any extra servings are just calories begging to be stored as fat.
5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes that feeling of hunger is actually thirst. Stay hydrated throughout the day, every day, to avoid eating extra calories and to satisfy your body’s need for water.
6. Engage and interact with your friends and family at get-togethers more than you do with your glass, plate and fork. Focus on the REAL meaning of your holidays and traditions.
Remember you can’t undo months or even just weeks of hard work in only one meal. But, by adopting healthier habits that include healthy holiday meals you can earn your ticket to a great figure now and for the rest of your years. Cheers!
By Niki Gauthier
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