So the first part of the holiday season is tomorrow… Thanksgiving! I am going to be honest, I used to enjoy all holidays… but ever since my grandma passed away, I don’t really care for any of them. Change is hard in certain situations, and this is a change I haven’t been able to grasp yet. But I will say that since my grandma has passed, my holidays are much healthier! I work out the morning on, I get up to take walks after meals, I do the dishes, and I am much calmer about the whole holiday season. How I got to this point was a struggle, but I am thankful for that struggle because it has made my holidays better in a way.
Today I just wanted to throw out some ways to stay healthy tomorrow! Yes, tomorrow is a day to 'indulge' in the things we love, but we also love ourselves! Love yourself enough to keep your health in mind this holiday.
Here are 10 tips to help you feel healthy this thanksgiving!
Don’t skip breakfast
By eating breakfast you will be less inclined to overeat throughout the day. Which some people may think overeating is the point of Thanksgiving, right? Well, it isn’t! Eating just one big meal will slow up your metabolism throughout the day (meaning you will burn less calories) and also you will be more likely to eat foods that are worse for you. Eat the meals you normally would throughout the day! You don’t need to throw off your entire day for one meal!
Workout in the morning
Morning workouts are my favorite! You get them out of the way quickly, and you are more likely to make better choices throughout the day. Any way that will help you boost your metabolism throughout the day is worth it today – that way you don’t feel that post-meal crash! A great way to make sure you get a workout in is to do a partner workout with a relative! I usually like doing a 5k the morning of Thanksgiving, but instead of paying for one this year, my cousin and I are going to make up our own! Get creative and have fun with it. (Need some workout ideas? EMAIL ME! I also have some great partner workouts for you!)
Grabbing some family members and taking a walk is a great way to get your body moving after that meal. Most of our Thanksgiving dinners contain simple carbohydrates (potatoes, white bread) which means we should be expecting a blood sugar spike…. and crash. Getting up and trying to stay active will help you be less inclined to go pop a squat on the couch or take a nap! Usually I have little ones at my grandpa’s house on the holidays, so I can take them to the park and they always keep me moving! Also taking advantage of the malls opening up on Thanksgiving night! Even if you don’t want to spend money or shop, just getting out and walking up and down the isles may help beat that post-meal bloat and fatigue.
Have water with dinner
Water helps with digestion and helps speed up your metabolism! It also helps to absorb the nutrients that you are eating. The best part as well… it helps you fill up, quicker! This will aid with overeating and feeling crazy amounts of bloating. Water also helps with constipation, which may come in handy after eating a bunch of foods you don’t normally eat on a daily or weekly basis.
Watch for portion control
Ah, the key success in losing weight and gaining muscle... and also the hardest part! If you have absolutely no idea what portions you should be eating... the rule of thumb I use is the palm of my hand! I don’t use a portion control with vegetables, but I do with everything else. For lean proteins I am usually a little more lenient on, but red meats and starches, go with the palm of your hand! Also using a smaller plate will help.
Fill your plate fresh vegetables and lean protein before the starches
Try not to overload your plate. Fill it with the essential nutrients FIRST, and whatever room you have leftover, then use that room for the starches!
Eat slowly and enjoy company
Eating slowly will help with when you feel full. The signal sent to your Hypothalamus can take up to 15 minutes, so it is definitely easy for us to overeat. Eating slowly and minding the company around you will help you not scarf your food down, and you will be able to feel that signal before it is too late.
Get up and do the dishes after dinner
I know no one enjoys doing the dishes, but the past few years I have made it my own tradition to go do the dishes during the holidays. Is it fun? Meh, it’s not the best! But it also isn’t the worst. I like getting my body moving after eating, and if I just sit there on the couch, I will mindlessly play on my phone and be unproductive. I’d rather spend my time being productive and helping my family! Anything to stop that post-meal crash – count me in!
Bring a fresh vegetable side dish
This is what I am doing this year. I am going to get some fresh string green beans, and pop them in the oven with some olive oil and salt and pepper! Don’t get me wrong, we have a decent amount of vegetables at the table, but I just love the taste of fresh vegetables (or ones that aren’t covered in butter!). I love the taste of vegetables, so I love having that option available.
Don’t get frustrated with yourself
This is the #1 point I want to get across. If you overeat, if you decided not to workout, if you take a nap after dinner, IT IS OKAY!! This is ONE DAY out of the year that we gather around a table for food. You are definitely allowed to eat what you want, and you are allowed to be as lazy as you wish. Just get up the next morning and get ready to crush those goals again. One day or one meal isn’t going to negate all the progress you have made. Forgive yourself and move on.
These tips aren’t here to tell everyone you NEED to be healthy this holiday. You most certainly don’t. You can handle this holiday however you want! Me personally, my healthy lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle! I don’t put it on hold for anything. I am a great 80/20 eater most of the time and I’ve gotten to the point where I am comfortable indulging in foods I love, and I am able to take time off from exercise. My point here is - I try to treat Thanksgiving like any other day, because that is what it is to me! Some days are harder than others to keep a healthy mindset, but it most certainly isn’t possible. There are small things you can do every day to help you.
Enjoy time with your family. Be nice to yourself. Have a great Thanksgiving!