By Abby Jennings/ TLS Team
Be nice to yourself this Thanksgiving – don’t catch the holiday blues! About the time you finish the last bite of your Thanksgiving feast – you start feeling guilty about overeating. You dread Black Friday knowing this means you have to try on those “perfect” pair of jeans you’ve been eying for weeks.
1. Don’t famish yourself
Saving all your calories for the big meal does more harm than good. Instead – eat a small breakfast, lunch and a healthy snack (carrots and celery) to keep your metabolism going. This way, you can enjoy your dinner and pick and choose what you want to eat instead of eating everything in sight because you’re starving.
2. Be calorie-smart
When deciding which dishes are best left off your plate, a good strategy is to avoid those foods that usually end with the phrase, “I can’t eat another bite.” This phrase is a good indication that filling dishes like broccoli and cheese casseroles, cream-based soups, potatoes au gratin are both filling and fattening – these are the foods to be weary of. Remember, a healthier lifestyle isn’t about denying yourself the joy of a meal with your family and friends; it’s about being able to moderate yourself and make the smartest choices available to you.
3. Keep a tab on how much you drink
The average American Thanksgiving meal contains around 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat – not including drinks. You can easily add an extra 210 calories by drinking just three glasses of white wine. Alcohol can also lower your inhibitions, causing you to eat more than you might have been planning. Try to limit yourself to one drink.
4. Beat the holiday slows – no gym required
Doing chores around the house burns off more calories than you think! For example – doing holiday baking (for about 2 hours) burns around 471 calories – which is equivalent to the amount you’d burn running five miles. Cleaning the house (for about 2 hours) burns around 412 calories and ending the holiday with a fun game of football burns 471 calories. Even propose taking a walk together after that big meal to offset the post-Thanksgiving food coma. Staying active in productive ways throughout the week can not only help you manage holiday stress, but enjoy time with your family and friends.
5. Be realistic
Losing weight during the holidays is a tough goal to meet, and failing to may actually lead to weight gain from emotional eating. When some people get too discouraged, they completely give up on their goals altogether. This is when having “the glass is half full” perspective helps. Instead of evaluating your success based on how much weight you lost, praise yourself for maintaining your weight by celebrating a lack of gain!
One meal, of course, isn’t going to wreck your efforts to get healthy. Just remember to stay active and eat smart throughout the whole week instead of trying to purge after the meal. The holidays are tough on those who want to lose weight – but if you follow these five guidelines- you can stay on track and still have fun.