Temptation awaits us next week, and it comes in the form of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato pie and just about anything else imaginable that can fit on the table. That’s right, Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means the first of many celebrations filled with food and spirits that are characteristic of the holiday season. We know the drill and expect it every year, but try as we might, for many of us this means falling victim to the many opportunities to let our taste buds run the show while neglecting our health.
If this sounds at all familiar to you, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. The holiday season is a dangerous time for weight control, as gatherings and feasts of all kinds take precedent over healthy eating and exercise. It all starts with Thanksgiving and the cornucopia of tasty and often calorie-filled treats presented to us. In fact, a typical Turkey Day dinner contains a whopping 4,500 calories, which is more than double most people’s daily calorie needs.
Thanksgiving may only be one day, but it’s also a chance to start a trend for the next few weeks of the holidays. Why not get the season started on the right foot by using self-control, practicing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly during this time and keeping it up into the New Year?
Better yet, try to focus on losing weight during this time while everyone else is gaining it. You’ll thank yourself for it down the line and will be ahead of the game when everyone else starts making New Year’s resolutions. Below are some tips to help you conquer the holiday season of temptation and actually lose some weight:
- Begin a new exercise program now or increase the intensity/frequency if you already have one going; find a workout buddy to help you stay motivated during what’s sure to be a difficult time
- Exercise will lower your blood glucose levels; this can lead to dizziness, nausea and increased appetite, which can cause you to overeat during your next meal; to prevent this, eat a well-balanced meal at least an hour before and/or a snack within an hour afterwards high in carbs or protein
- Before big meals like Thanksgiving, eat a small breakfast high in protein and fiber so you’re not too hungry when you get to the table
- Appetizers can be especially dangerous, so try to make safe snacking choices before the big meal; raw fruits and veggies and pretzels are smart
- Survey the table or buffet before filling your plate, and go with small portions of healthy foods only available during the holidays; avoid seconds
- Regulate your alcohol intake, which can also add to calorie intake quickly
- Go for a brisk walk with family or friends after any big feasts
Regardless of how much willpower you have, there’s no denying that the next few weeks will be tough. But if you create a plan to exercise regularly and approach the big feasts carefully, you’re giving yourself a great chance of getting through the holidays without the extra pounds. For more information on weight control during the holidays or to schedule an appointment for any exercise guidance, contact Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC at 704-471-0001.