It’s getting colder out, and the promise of warm comfort foods and holidays centered around huge traditional feasts can make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Unfortunately, this time of year can be a nightmare for those trying to make healthy dietary changes to their lifestyle. We often find ourselves putting normal dietary habits on pause with the expectation that we’ll get back on track in the New Year. This mentality can seriously sabotage our health and fitness goals. Thanksgiving, a holiday whose entire day is planned around food, can be especially difficult to get through unscathed and can be the gateway to our derailment. Every year the same tips and tricks on what we can do to stay on track through the holiday circles about, but how realistic is it that you’ll follow all of them?
It is also hypocritical to suggest my clients follow a huge list of do’s and don’ts and not follow them myself. Hey, I’m human and love this holiday just as much as the next! How strict you have to be on Thanksgiving — and all the ones that closely follow it — really depends on the timeframe of your current goals. If you have a specific and upcoming deadline, then I am sorry to say, you’ll have to be significantly more strict with your Thanksgiving day this year. If you are a little more flexible with your timeline, then the good news is you can relax a bit. One day of indulgence won’t completely throw you off track. The key words here are ONE DAY. Often times Thanksgiving dinner involves more than one meal: the appetizers before dinner, alcohol before, during, and after dinner, and leftovers for days following. This is what really throw us off track and sends us on our downward spiral for the remainder of the holiday season. I’ve compiled a short list of “Dos and Don’ts” that I believe are attainable, allow you to stay on track and allow you to enjoy your Thanksgiving.
Do: Make a predetermined plan on what you will eat and/or drink and what you will avoid. Stick with and make peace with those decisions. Whether you limit your portion sizes, or the types of food, or set no limits whatsoever, is all fine. Just make sure those decisions are realistic, won’t make you feel guilty afterwards, and that you have a plan in case you feel yourself veering from those decisions. Let your trainers at IronPlate Studios help you navigate and prepare your plan based on your personal goals.
Tips for Before/During
Don’t skip earlier meals to “save room” for big dinner.
Don’t fill up on pre-meal appetizers.
Savor every bite and eat slowly.
Start the day being physically active: get your usual workout in, run a turkey trot, try a turkey burner workout or class, etc. (Check out IronPlate’s “do from anywhere” Pre-Thanksgiving and Post -Thanksgiving turkey burner workouts!)
Take a post-meal walk with your family.
Avoid foods you can always eat and enjoy the ones you only get once a year.
Tips for After
Get right back on track with your normal routine.
Don’t feel guilty. This often leads to more poor decisions. Learn from the way you feel and apply it to your future challenges.
Remember: Listening to your body, and making healthy changes that work for you is a constant learning process. Each success and failure teaches us what we are capable of and where we might need improvement. Reach out to your friends at IronPlate Studios to keep you on or get you back on the path to success.