5 ways to reduce the damage from treating yourself on Thanksgiving

3 minReading time

Let’s face it, holiday season is the worst nightmare for anyone planning to get fit. With all our friends and family enjoying delicious foods, how can we possibly resist taking a bite of the sweet pies or taking a sip of the wine? If you have the discipline and willpower to stick to your healthy diet, good for you!

But for those of us who already intend to treat ourselves on Thanksgiving, do not let a cheat meal become a cheat day, become a cheat week and finally becoming a cheat year! Here are 5 ways we can embrace Thanksgiving but with a clear plan on how to reduce the caloric damages.

1. Treat yourself at the dinner

Thanksgiving may be a whole day affair but the grand finale is definitely the dinner! We want to be part of the social gathering, the laughter, the warm feeling in our hearts as we enjoy a sumptuous feast with our loved ones (and that weird extended relative who was invited out of pure courtesy). There is absolutely no reason to wake up to foods you normally would not consume because they do not fit into your fitness goals. Treat yourself to only the Thanksgiving Dinner because that is what truly matters to us. Remember, you still have one foot on the track towards your goals if you just treat yourself to one meal.

2. Plan your treats

Turkey, Candied Yams, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and so much more! In the face of these temptations, it can be easy for us to spiral out of control find ourselves getting stuffed harder than a Thanksgiving turkey. Is the turkey always the star of the dinner? Go for more of it, especially since the protein will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the dinner! Do the candied yams not look great? Just have one or two small bites to try it out and not hurt the feelings of whoever made that monstrosity. The key principle here is to plan what treats on the table will be worth the calories. If grandma’s pecan pie is what the family will wrestle over, treat yourself to a good slice of it!

3. Exercise the next day

So you had an amazing evening with your friends and family and that weird uncle did not cause any embarrassment this year so everything is good. But your body probably has a lot of stored sugar and you may start to crave for more sweet treats. You could either completely fall off the track towards your goals by giving in to further temptations or you could use those stored sugar as fuel for an intense workout! Go for a run, perform High-Intensity-Interval-Training and lift some weights. Many athletes overload on calories and carbohydrates to push themselves to work out harder and you can view your Thanksgiving Dinner as that too!

4. Fasting

After your intense workout, you can consider doing Intermittent Fasting and consume your meals within a window of time. This will further help to quickly deplete the remaining stored sugar in your body as well as reduce your overall caloric intake so that it may balance out the treats you had the evening before.

5. Nutrient-dense foods

Of course, when it is time to have your meals, you want to focus on getting the essential micronutrients back into your body, especially since Thanksgiving Dinners aren’t exactly known for including superfoods. Micronutrients such as Potassium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin D are critical in regulating blood sugar and promoting the metabolism of sugar, which we will have too much of after the dinner. Consume more nuts, eggs, dairy and fishes to quickly get these important nutrients. Having a nutritionally-balanced diet will assist in giving your body what it needs to function optimally and reduce your overall cravings for more treats.

Now that you know how to enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner treat and quickly get back on track towards your fitness goals, give it a try so you can control the damage from the many more treats there are to come…(*Jingle music intensifies*)

With Lifesum, tracking your healthy habits (and the not so healthy ones) becomes a breeze. We’ll help you pick the right food, and eat the right portion sizes, to reach your personal health goals.

All posts by lifesum