Thanksgiving is just around the corner (next week!) and for many of us, this means a time of overindulgence and putting our fitness goals on the back-burner.
While we always encourage a life well-lived, it is still important to keep a close eye on what can quickly spiral into an all-out-calorie-fest. According to the Calorie Control Council
, the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving and more than 2,000 of those calories come from fat.
So, how can you stave off these excess calories and keep your fitness goals in check? Easy. Here are five ways to stay fit during the holidays:
1. Focus on the Right Foods
The challenge with the holidays is that a lot of menus are designed around carb-rich and heavy foods. Think: stuffing, bread, sweets, creamy side dishes and more. However, there are often other options if you’re willing to pass up the good stuff.
Focus your food choices on proteins - turkey, ham, etc. - and vegetables. Those two choices alone will help you to stay on target and not overindulge in the starchy, sweet choices. If you feel like limiting yourself completely will ruin your holidays, load up on the first two and treat yourself to the rest -- in moderation.
2. Front Load Your Day
Since many of us are celebrating in other people’s homes, it’s often difficult to steer the food choices in a direction that matches how we eat on a daily basis. Knowing that you can’t control what appears on the table means putting in place a strategy to help.
Front load your day with good, wholesome nutrition so that you aren’t starving by dinner time. High protein breakfasts or a mid-day protein shake should help. This way, even if you can’t control the food choices, you’ll be less apt to load up your plate out of starvation.
3. Spike Your Metabolism
One of the best ways to get your metabolism going, which will help you to burn off calories, is to start your day with a vigorous, morning workout. Get the heart rate up and the blood pumping and your metabolism will help you process the food later in the day.
You can even turn this into a family affair! Invite your family out for a morning hike, a long walk or organize a fun sports activity that you can all do together. Those who play together, stay together so encourage some outdoor fun.
4. Stop the Snacking
It’s not difficult to see why many of us gain weight during the holidays -- everywhere you turn, there are often little plates or bowls of food, inviting us to snack. Humans have a natural tendency to meet over food and holiday gatherings exacerbate this immensely.
If you want to stick to your weight-loss or fitness goals during the holiday months, curb the snacking or choose the right snacks. Focus on the nut bowl instead of the chips and you’ll feel much better when the holidays are over.
5. Hydrate with Water Instead of a Cocktail
We left this one until the very end because we know that the holidays are often synonymous with enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two. However, if you want to stay focused, all things must be enjoyed in moderation.
Cocktails, beer and other spirits are often full of sugar and other ingredients that will derail your efforts. Stick to hydrating with water and you’ll have better digestion, more energy and you won’t experience as much of the dreaded holiday bloat.
We Want to Hear from YOU
What are your tips for surviving the holidays? How do you make the right choices and not fall into the overindulgence trap? Leave your feedback as a comment below or head over to our Facebook page
and share there!