Are you ready for the holidays? You better get ready because Halloween has already passed and you know what that means. The stores try to skip Thanksgiving and go right to Christmas. My birthday is on Thanksgiving this year. So that will make the day super special. I really look at October 31st -February 14th as this weird time where all eating habits get really blurred in this gray area. Did you know on average people gain 7-10 pounds during this time frame? I’m going to share my Thanksgiving eating survival tips with you so this holiday can be more about family and a little less about food.
Obviously eating a piece of candy on Halloween didn’t kill you and eating Thanksgiving dinner isn’t going to throw you off too bad either. However, it’s usually the habits we get into after that dinner that cause us the issue. Have you ever missed your work out a couple times and then it was easier just to skip it again the next time? You got out of the habit and what you do everyday becomes your lifestyle. It’s the same with your eating. The sooner you get back to your routine the better. If you eat and indulge a little at Thanksgiving that is perfectly fine, but don’t spend the next 4 days eating all the left overs. That is what gets us off our habits and makes it harder to get back on our schedule. Indulge on that day, be thankful for your blessings, and enjoy your family, but get back to eating clean and healthy the next day.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? If you’re not sure what that is, it just means that you are trying to eat healthy 80% of the time and you can have small cheats 20% of the time. People mainly do this to be able to maintain this long term and keep this lifestyle going. If you didn’t indulge some I think you would have some binging going on. People still want a couple cheat meals. You can plan your Thanksgiving dinner to be in your 20%. It really is about making good choices about your eating.
You can also save up your calories if you know Thanksgiving is coming. If you have done 21 day fix, Weight Watchers, or you track your calories with Fitness Pal you can easily save some of your calories/points for this special dinner. Every little bit helps. Think and plan ahead. A lot of health and weight issues are about being organized and planning ahead.
Also, use your calories wisely. I think of this in 2 parts. First, I only use my calories if I love the food. I wouldn’t just pick up a cold piece of pizza and spend that many calories on something that doesn’t really appeal to me. However, if I got to eat one of my mom’s desserts once a year then I would definitely spend my calories on that. The second way I look at this is that not all calories are created equally. If a candy bar is 300 calories and so is a breakfast sandwich, I would pick the sandwich. That is going to keep me full longer and is a healthier choice. It’s all about staying full longer for the least amount of calories.
Also, plan what to do with the left overs. If we know we don’t want to spend the next week over indulging in the left overs you need to plan wisely. My MIL used to get styrofoam containers for her guests and when they would leave each one would fill up a plate to take home. I thought that was an amazing idea in hospitality and look how much that helped in terms of weight loss too. I’m sure you could also get those disposable containers from the dollar store or something.
If you are supposed to make a dish for the dinner, maybe you could make a clean side that you can eat. Then you know there is something there that you don’t have to resist. You can eat it without guilt. I’m sure other people will appreciate it too.
I like to either choose the appetizer or the dessert but not both. This is kind of my rule of thumb for any party or entertaining situation. I can’t stand to feel like I’ve eaten too much. I’m not talking about just full, but really stuffed. You just feel bad, your stomach hurts, you may even have reflux. it’s the worst feeling. I don’t want to feel like that. Then the food is usually pulled out again in like 4 hours later and we always go back and eat even though we’re stuffed. Why is that?
I wish all of you an amazing Thanksgiving. Enjoy your day with family and friends, indulge in your meal, but be ready to workout and get back into your good eating habits the next day. Go ahead and lay out your workout clothes that night so the next day you’re ready to hit the gym.