Only THREE MORE DAYS until Thanksgiving! Chances are you may have even already had a family dinner or a "friendsgiving" to celebrate and give thanks. As we get closer and closer to Thanksgiving Day, it can be easy to let your fitness goals take a back seat to all of the delicious food that comes along with the holiday.
CLICK HERE to view: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites | Healthy Thanksgiving Snack Recipe
Fun fact: The average person will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving is definitely the holiday of balance. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to indulge and eat the foods you love - Thanksgiving only comes once a year, right?! There are ways you can enjoy yourself on Thursday without completely derailing your fitness progress.
Who's ready for a FIT feast?! Check out the tips below!
1. Eat breakfast.
You will be so surprised at the difference eating breakfast can make in your hunger levels for the entire rest of the day. Sometimes if you know you will be eating a large meal later (like on Thanksgiving) it can be tempting to skip breakfast, but you should actually try to do the complete opposite! I eat in an inverted pyramid style, meaning the bulk of my calories are consumed in the morning. By eating breakfast, you will be less likely to over stuff yourself at dinner-time.
CLICK HERE to view: Pumpkin Cacao Protein Pancakes | Healthy Fall Breakfast Recipe
2. Sweat before.
Don't think: "Oh, I'm going to eat unhealthy later today so I might as well skip my workout too." Stick to your regular fitness routine and do your best to sweat early - you'll be less likely to skip your Thanksgiving Day workout if you get it done in the morning before all of the festivities start.
CLICK HERE to view: VIDEO: Tone Your Entire Body With This Pilates Inspired Workout | No Equipment, At-Home Exercise Routine
3. Start with veggies.
Go for the greens! Filling up on leafy green salad (hold the creamy dressing) or veggie sticks before your big Thanksgiving meal will lessen the chance that you'll go back for seconds on the pumpkin pie.
4. Make a sample platter.
So, you want to try EVERY pie at the dinner... Well you CAN. Just make sure you don't eat entire slices. Take smaller pieces of each flavor food so you can get a taste of it all without eating more servings than your body needs.
5. Get out of the kitchen.
A lot of times people have the tendency to gather in the kitchen around the food. This can lead to mindless snacking, and before you know it you've eaten the entire cheese platter (oops). Move the conversation to the living room or dining table where the food is NOT within arms reach. You'll be less likely to munch!
6. Stay hydrated.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This makes ALL the difference. A lot of times when you THINK you're hungry, you're actually just thirsty! This week, when you feel like snacking, reach for a tall glass of water instead of the Thanksgiving apps.
7. Stop before you're full.
I know it's tempting to go back for seconds... and thirds... maybe fourths? I have been guilty before! This year, try to practice eating mindfully. Before you go back for seconds, wait 20 minutes and see if you're still hungry. If you are, then go back for seconds. If you're not, chances are the feeling you had earlier was just a craving.
8. Go for protein.
Good news: this means TURKEY. Bad news: it also means dodge the mashed potatoes and rolls. Of course, eating too much of any macro will cause weight gain, but carbs are the body's preferred source of energy so when you over-consume them they are stored as glucose and converted in to fat. Foods high in carbs will cause your blood sugar to rise and crash, leading to a drop in energy levels and that feeling of "tiredness" after a heavy meal. Eating enough protein with your meal will help you stay full for a longer period of time afterwards.
9. Make a plan.
Of course, don't be too strict on yourself on Thanksgiving, but having a general plan and idea of the foods you are going to aim to eat at dinner can help you stay on track. If you slip up or deviate from this pre-determined plan, don't stress! It's Thanksgiving and it only comes once a year.
10. Eat dessert.
YES! You DID read that correctly. Eat the pie, girl. In reality: ONE slice of pie or dessert will not make you gain weight or lose progress. What makes you gain weight and not see results from your workouts are the continuous slices of pie following Thanksgiving. If you are craving a bite of pie, go for it. Just make sure you don't over do it.
CLICK HERE to view: Greek Yogurt Protein Pumpkin Pie
11. Modify your favorite recipes.
There are SO many easy ways you can take the classic Thanksgiving recipes and make a few ingredient substitutions to cut calories, fat, and sugar. Love mashed potatoes? Try subbing the potatoes for mashed cooked cauliflower. Is sweet potato casserole your fave? Swap the sugar for stevia and ditch the marshmallows. You will be surprised at how similar the healthier versions taste - and they're better for your waistline.
CLICK HERE to view some of my favorite healthy dessert swaps in recent recipes:
12. Go for a walk after you eat.
A quick walk after you eat (even just 15 minutes) can help aid digestion, lower your blood sugar, and burn off a few of the calories you just consumed. Grab the fam and head outside for some fresh air after you eat.
13. Be social.
A lot of times Thanksgiving can be centered around food - but challenge yourself to shift the focus from the food to family! Practice gratitude for good company and focus on spending time with those around you - instead of the dessert bar.
14. Remember: Thanksgiving is ONE day.
ONE out of 365! Enjoy yourself, practice mindfulness and balance, and don't be too hard on yourself for eating a few foods you normally wouldn't. That being said: making sure Thanksgiving really IS just one day (and not an entire week) will help you get right back on track towards your fitness goals.
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below. I want to hear from you!
Keep up with me on Instagram! Head over to @samanthabowers_ and comment on my most recent post what you're thankful for this year.