Surviving Thanksgiving...and the Other Holidays!

author : acbadger
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Don’t go without, just watch portion sizes and remember that there is ALWAYS time to get a short workout in…if you make the time!

Thanksgiving is the first of several upcoming holidays we celebrate by eating until we can no longer see our feet beneath us. Most people gain an average of 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Day…and again, that’s an AVERAGE. I am going to give you 10 tips on how to avoid gaining, what they call, the Seasonal Seven!

  1. Offer to have the holiday meal at your house. That way, you can make dishes that taste great, but may be lower in fat than their fatty counterparts. For example, substitute mashed potatoes made with whole milk for mashed potatoes made with lower fat milk or serve up some baked sweet potatoes! Serve angel food cake with fresh berries along with an apple or pumpkin pie…that way people can make the desert choice as well.
     

  2. If you’ve been invited to someone’s house for the holidays, bring something with you like a low fat side dish. No one will be offended that you brought something of your own to offer, and you can opt for the healthier choice side dish.
     

  3. Fill your plate with the lower fat foods first and then just add a taste of the higher fat foods to your plate. If you leave very little room on your plate for the “bad” food, then you can’t have that much of it sitting there in front of you. Also, be sure to take skin off of the turkey and minimize the amount of gravy you pour over that piece of skinless meat.
     

  4. Drink at least 8 to 16 ounces of water BEFORE your meal. This will help fill you up a bit before the meal starts.
     

  5. If snacky foods are sitting around the house before mealtime (i.e. Nuts, Chex mix, etc.), sit away from the dishes or socialize in a room that is not filled with the tempting treats.
     

  6. Get up a bit earlier that morning and go for a run/walk/bike ride/etc. Getting a pre-meal workout will make you feel good about what you are going to eat that day (doesn’t mean you should go to town on turkey though), and will reduce your appetite a bit as well.
     

  7. If you can’t get up and workout before the big meal…recruit people/family members to go out for a walk after dinner. That way, you get up and move that food around and burn it off, as opposed to slipping into that infamous turkey coma!
     

  8. I realize it gets busy during the holidays and time is hard pressed to find…however, if you set a goal to work out at least 3 to 4 days a week during the holidays, you’re less likely to gain the extra holiday weight and you will be able to maintain your fitness level by cutting back on exercise…but not cutting it out completely.
     

  9. If you are going to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages, choose lower calorie options. Wine is better than light beer, light beer is better than beer, and beer is better than some liquor and mixes. Check calorie content. If you plan on indulging in more than a FEW alcoholic beverages, have a glass of water between each drink. That way, you will fill up faster and be apt to drink much less…and it will also keep you hydrated and help reduce the nasty hangover side effects the next day.  HELLOOOOO, there is shopping to be done this season! How will you ever get all of that done and fight the crowds with a hangover??
     

  10. This is also the time of year to set new goals. It’s the time where we make our New Year’s Resolutions. Take this ‘maintenance’ period (not OFF period) to re-evaluate where you want to be this upcoming racing season. Heck, maybe make yourself a Christmas/Chanukah gift list of what you will need this upcoming training season. That may also help you determine your goals for 2006!

To summarize the 10 points I have just highlighted, enjoy your holidays!! Don’t go without, just watch portion sizes and remember that there is ALWAYS time to get a short workout in…if you make the time! Remember, your health is just as important DURING the holidays as it is during the other 9 months of the year. So, don’t take November, December and January off, just curb your workouts a bit, maintain, and take the extra time you have to spend with the people you love!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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date: November 23, 2005

acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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