Thanksgiving Survival Guide

 

 

So the holidays are upon us and that usually means two things: family and food.  We get together, we celebrate, and we eat.

 
And there’s nothing wrong with that during those gatherings.  Using the holidays as an excuse to binge and eat unhealthy for an entire month, as many people do, however, is a poor approach to the situation.  I’m not saying you can’t enjoy yourself at the family get togethers.  Go ahead, have that extra slice of pumpkin pie (or in my case the entire pie) on Thursday, just make sure you keep on track the other 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Just think about all of the people who put off starting their diet and exercise plan until after the holidays.  Think of how far ahead of the game they could get if they started eating sensibly and exercising in between the holiday meals.  There would not be such a mountain to climb come January 1st.

 
So what do you do next weekend when all of the food comes rolling in?  Here is the step by step plan that I will be using to get through the four day weekend coming up:

 

 

1.) Move every day

This can be as simple as just going for walk for 30 minutes.  Or sign up for a turkey trot (usually a local 5k race).  You can do this with the family and can either walk or run depending on your skill level.  If you want to step it up a notch do an intense workout with weights or body-weight. I am including two free workouts for you to follow.  These are the exact same workouts I did with my sister last Thanksgiving weekend.  If you have kids or grand-kids or nieces or nephews play with them.  Channel their energy and run with them, give a piggy back ride, or just plain ol roughhouse.  If possible, do this outside.

 
2.) Plan your workouts

If you decide to follow a couple of workouts (mine or your own routine) schedule them (Put them in your planner or calendar!) and make sure you stick to them.  My preference would be to definitely execute one of them before the big meal to rev up the metabolism.  My plan is a Thursday and Saturday workout. As the old adage goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

 
3.) Pick one meal to go all out

A lot of you will have many engagements, sometimes meals with both sides of the family or other work and social engagements.  Whether that’s two meals on Thursday, or one Thursday and one Friday and one Saturday, pick just one of those to be your over consumption meal.  For the others, eat just a moderate amount and stick to good choices like the turkey and any veggie options.  Don’t feel obligated to have an all out meal though.  If you want to eat moderately for all of your meals that’s great. Go for it! I just know how tough that can be when Grandma comes around the table spooning stuffing and extra dessert on your plate without asking 😉

 
4.) Fast before the meal if possible

Now, if you haven’t fasted before this can be difficult for some people.  Personally, I followed an Intermittent Fasting schedule on daily basis, usually fasting between 16-18 hours and consuming all of my calories in that 6-8 hour window so making it to a Thanksgiving lunch would not be a problem.  Our family tradition is an evening meal so I’m going to need to employ a little more willpower to make it that long. If you are used to eating breakfast, you’ll likely wake up hungry.  This is usually dehydration in disguise.  You’ve been sleeping on the order of 8 hours or so and the body is in a state of dehydration.  Try drinking a liter of water upon waking (add in some fresh squeezed lemon for a multitude of  added benefits, one of which is to suppress appetite via the pectin contained within) and wait about 15 minutes.  I find that any hunger pains I was feeling upon waking are vanquished.  Then sip on some green tea or coffee for the rest of the morning and before you know you’ve made it to meal time.  Now if hunger becomes unbearable try eating a small handful of water dense food, like fruit (preferably berries) or some celery (hold the peanut butter).

 

 

5.) Enjoy and give thanks!

That’s what this weekend is about, right?  We get to spend time with our loved ones and we are fortunate enough to have food on our table.  We should all be thankful for that.

 

 

Check out the new “Resources” tab to find the exact workouts my sister and I did last year.  The workouts include a full warmup and body weight options for any weighted movements. I will be adding this year’s workouts to the page as well so check back after the Holiday for a couple of more great options to choose from.

Post-Turkey Day Friday "Fun"isher
Fun with the Sandbag - New Friday "Fun"isher

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