Staying Fit During a Thanksgiving Feast

alexander lakhanpalIn America, late November is often a marker of the start of the winter holiday season. Thanksgiving is usually defined as a family and friend-oriented time of year that involves relaxation, volunteering and overdosing on tryptophan from lunch or dinner. If you have the good fortune to celebrate with loved ones while partaking in a Thanksgiving Feast it may be tempting to ignore your normal fitness routine and indulge in the holiday. However, a little bit of planning will go a long way in derailing over-indulgences during the holiday. There are a few tips that I would suggest in order to maintain your fitness routine while still enjoying the holiday.

1. Sleep in. Because you have the day off, it’s worth it to get a full night’s rest and enjoy the opportunity to sleep in. Instead of getting up at 6am, perhaps you can wake up at 9am – refreshed! This will not only boost your mood, but will make you feel like you are actually on vacation.

2. Eat Breakfast. I would suggest that you eat something light like almonds or a smoothie right after you wake up as well as hydrate with water. The closer that you do this to when you first wake up, the better.

3. Once you have had a small morning snack, I suggest that you begin your workout. Enjoy the fact that you have a bit longer to work out today, and really enjoy yourself.

4. Following the workout, I would suggest that you stretch well then eat a real lunch with protein and vegetables. No matter what time you are planning to have your  big Thanksgiving meal, make a point to re-fuel after your workout.  You don’t want to head to a Thanksgiving gathering hungry because you will not only be irritable and low energy, but you will be much likelier to over-eat. Make sure that you continue drinking water throughout the afternoon.

5. If you are planning to have a later dinner, make sure that you are armed with healthy and filling snacks so that your energy levels don’t drop. And keep in mind that the time the food will be served is always a variable, so come prepared.

6. Once the food is ready, make sure to include vegetables on your plate, and pause with a glass of water and conversation before getting up for seconds.

7. Make a point to go for a walk after the meal before you go to bed.

Thanksgiving should be a chance to relax, spend time with family, volunteer to help others who may not have the same good fortune as you. Although this holiday is particularly focused on food, set yourself up with a plan that will help you maintain your fitness routine while still enjoying the comforts of the holiday. For more thoughts on Thanksgiving workouts, see the video below.