The holiday season is a time for family, friends, parties, and, most of all, food. It can be easy to get out of normal eating and exercise routines and indulge in the seasonal dishes served at every gathering. Research shows that most people do gain extra weight over the holidays. How can you keep your waistline in check and still enjoy a Thanksgiving meal? Kasey Pape, registered dietitian at Metro Health has the following suggestions:
• Get moving - One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose body weight is to engage in regular, sustained aerobic activity. If you are planning to take in extra calories, increase your workouts from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. If you work out three times a week, bump it up to five times a week. Many cities have events you can do on Thanksgiving Day such as a Turkey Trot which can be fun for the whole family. You can also take a walk with the family around the neighborhood after your Thanksgiving meal.
• Watch your portions – You can still enjoy the foods you want each Thanksgiving, but just be mindful of the portion size. A portion of meat should be about 3-4 oz. or the size of your palm. A portion of starch or vegetables should about be ½ cup or the size of your fist.
• Eat mindfully – Take your time and enjoy the food you are eating. You can slow down by putting your fork down or taking a sip of water between bites. Listen to the cues your body is telling you when you are feeling full.
• Say No Politely – You might feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say “no” politely, such as “no, thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious” or “I couldn’t eat another bite.” Do not eat as an obligation to others, even if they have cooked your favorite dish. Make sure you make your own decisions—you are the one who will have to live with the consequences.
• Choose to Eat Healthy Ahead of Time – Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast on Thanksgiving morning so you won’t be starving by the time the main meal is served. Focus on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.