Now, has anyone ever really gained that much weight on Thanksgiving day? I doubt it, but you know what, I must admit to being guilty of a 10-15 pound weight gain over the Thanksgiving to Christmas stretch myself - in the past. Trust me, neither you nor I want to be that person! So let me share with you my top ideas and tips for not gaining holiday weight on this festive Thursday.
1. Get Active - The No. 1 Thanksgiving health tip I would recommend you do, first thing Thanksgiving morning, is get outside and get active. Even if it’s raining or snowing in your area, getting outside for at least 30 minutes is a great thing to do — or if you can’t do that, do a 30 minute workout. My wife swears by her 30 minute workouts! If you don’t have 30 minutes to treat yourself, even five minutes can help you keep that weight off. So make sure on Thanksgiving morning to wake up and get active, whether that’s taking a walk outside or walking the dog or a quick workout routine. That’s going to help you keep weight off Thanksgiving morning.
In addition to your morning workout, get outside and do something active during the day. Start a family tradition of Thanksgiving Day exercise. How about a little bit of 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 football for an hour or so, both men and women. Getting outside and creating a fun family tradition like that — or maybe some family nature walk to enjoy the colors of Fall — is a great way to have a lot of fun, share some great traditions, make some truly lasting memories and, at the same time, work to not pack on the pounds from all of those extra calories you know you are bound to consume on Thanksgiving day.
2. Focus on Protein - Another one of my Thanksgiving health tips when you’re trying to lose weight or just keep the weight off these holidays is to focus on more good, quality protein foods. Turkey is actually an amazing quality food choice. It’s full of tryptophan, protein and amino acids that can really support your immune system, which can help improve your mood and overall health. There are a lot healthy benefits of turkey so when you’re loading up that plate Thanksgiving Day, pack on the turkey. For instance, in addition to providing protein with fewer calories and less fat than beef and the tryptophan that helps the body make niacin and serotonin — which helps your mood — turkey contains selenium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
Selenium benefits include its role as a powerful antioxidant that regulates thyroid hormone metabolism and reproduction. With almost half of the daily recommended value of selenium in a single serving, turkey is an excellent selenium source.
As a food high in phosphorus, turkey also helps the body make protein and use carbs and fats, thus helping prevent weight gain. Don't forget that turkey has beneficial B vitamin content — namely niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. But it doesn't stop there turkey also benefits digestion, brain development, immunity, metabolism and red blood cell production.
So have the turkey piled high, go easy on the gravy, go easy on the stuffing, and then add lots of good vegetables to your Thanksgiving plate.
So let me say it again loud and clear, I highly recommend loading up on the turkey if you want to keep the weight. Plus over the days after the feast, kind of as an added benefit, you can make so many healthy, delicious leftover turkey recipes that the mind boggles at the thought – turkey on rye sandwiches and my personal favorite turkey enchiladas! Great tasting and they can help limit weight gain and keep those pants from getting too tight!
3. Monitor Your Meals - Last but not least on the Thanksgiving health tips list, if you want to really keep weight off on Thanksgiving Day, monitor your meals. Pumpkin pie is fine as is a little bit of cranberry sauce — but really try and stick to one serving during the day.
Have a small breakfast of fruit and berries. Don’t eat a lot of carbs in the morning — you’re probably going to get more carbs in the afternoon than you realize. So eat a breakfast— but really limit your carbohydrates in the morning. That’s going to allow your body to burn more carbs later on in the day.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving. And of course, Happy