The majority of us will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with close family and friends next week. Likely this means an enormous feast of the traditional fixings you’ve come to look forward to over the years. These are blessed and cherished times that should be enjoyed with loved ones, however if you have been focusing on developing and maintaining healthy habits, here are a few tips to help you stay in relative control when turkey day does finally arrive.
Watch Out For the Snacks and Beverages
One of the most difficult aspects to overcome during holidays are the snacks and beverages. Most snacks, particularly holiday-type snacks, are decorative sugar-based creations that are meant to get you into the holiday spirit rather than be nutritious for the body.
It wouldn’t be too harmful if the person would have self-control and limit themselves to just one or two of these bite-sized delights, but far to often, handful after handful are tossed into the mouth throughout the day without much thought being given to what’s happening.
Granted our attention is often focused on either lively conversation with people who you may not have seen in some time, or possibly on one of the many sporting events being shown on the television. Just keep in mind that every snack and drink you put into the body has a calorie amount. These calories at the end of the day will be tabulated and even though you are not likely to stay around a healthy amount, you don’t really want to have this day turn out to be a 5,000+ calorie event. Remember, by this time you haven’t even arrived to the main Thanksgiving dinner course yet either so watch out for those snacks and drinks.
Your Main Meal Selections
Once the Thanksgiving meal starts, depending on how well you controlled the snacks up to this point, the next hurdle to get over is the actual meal. If you have already been practicing healthy eating habits, you are well aware of the fact that drinking a large glass of water before eating will help keep your portion size in check. If you are able to do this on Thanksgiving day, try to stick with this habit as well.
Another healthy eating tip is to eat your Thanksgiving meal in a slow manner, as opposed to cramming everything into the body quickly and still feeling hungry thus going for a second helping. If you eat your food in a slower fashion you give your body the time it needs to process the amount coming in so you’ll be less likely to overeat. Take your time and enjoy the conversation that will be going on at the table and you may be able to leave the table at the end of the meal satisfied that you did not go way overboard with the amount you put into your body.
If you especially want to keep the calorie count to a minimum, continue to drink water throughout your meal and you’ll find this is your best ally in maintaining a proper portion size.
Desserts and Sweets
Sometime after dinner holiday Thanksgiving desserts will likely be served. Most traditionally pumpkin pie however you may also find quite a number of other pies, muffins, cakes, ice cream and pastry options will be offered.
If you’ve been able to make it this far through your Thanksgiving festivities in relative control, congratulations! Just be leary about the size and amount of dessert you select for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with taking only half a slice of pie, or limiting your ice cream to just one scoop and avoiding the chocolate syrup topping.
Again, drinking water may help take away the craving to put anything more into your body. Desserts can be deceiving given they are generally quite small in size, but pack quite a substantial calorie amount. Take for example the popular Applebees Delectable Dessert option the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. This treat only costs $5.99 yet you’ll find it has a whopping 1,540 calories!
Do you really think this is going to be healthy for the body especially after eating a large meal?
That’s almost enough calories for an entire day crammed into a small 5 inch wide slice of dessert. This is one of the main dangers desserts present and why it’s a good habit to try and avoid them as often as possible.
One final option you have is to see if you can’t share with someone else and put their portion directly onto a separate plate so it’s not in front of you any longer. At least this way you’ll cut out half the calories from this dessert.
Be also aware if you have to deal with leftovers especially if the Thanksgiving festivities take place at your home. That’s why for some, even though the Thanksgiving holiday is actually just one day, it still may find a way to wreck havoc on a health and fitness goal for a couple of weeks. Enjoy the time with family and friends, but enjoyment does not mean you have to stuff your mouth to the point of overeating day after day.
Hopefully you will not completely stray away from your plan, especially since you will be the one who will have to deal with the unfortunate repercussions – weight gain.
Gregory L. Gomez, a teacher who’s also on journey to develop a healthy life in an effort to lose weight and get in shape.
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