Food! The centerpiece of this November holiday. The pies, the potatoes; everything revolves around high-calorie, sugar-infused, starchy-carb filled foods.
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little Turkey Day treat, but the aftermath of this festive food celebration can leave you in a turkey-induced coma-like state.
According to LiveScience, the average U.S. adult consumes 229 grams of fat and 3,000 calories in one single Thanksgiving meal. Danielle Staub of Lenox Hill Hospital goes on to say that a person weighing 160-pounds would have to jog for four hours or walk 30 miles or swim for five hours to work off all of those calories.
Here are my tips for surviving Thanksgiving:
1. Bring Your Own Dish
If you’re attending Thanksgiving at a family members house or if your besties are hosting their own version of “Friendsgiving,” remember to bring your own dish. This is especially true if you have a food allergy or don’t eat certain foods or ingredients. This year I’m brining bacon-wrapped butternut squash bites for hors d’oeuvres so I don’t munch on cheese and crackers and sweets the entire day. This dish might not be a crowd favorite, but at least there will be a vegetable dish on the table spread.
2. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Excessive drinking and the holidays go hand-in-hand. I’m not saying sipping a glass of wine or two is bad for your, but polishing off a bottle of whiskey and drinking all of the seasonal beer probably isn’t the best choice you can make. Have a drink or two, but don’t over indulge.
3. Host Thanksgiving at Your Place
You’re the host, you make the rules. Choose when to have dinner, let you guests know what they need to bring. If you want to watch a football game, watch it. If boardgames and charades are more your style, play a fun game. Hosting the dinner at your home can be as stressful as you want it to be. The only downside of hosting at your home is the aftermath. You’ll need to make sure you have some friends and family willing to help you clean up afterwards.
4. Make Time to Workout
Most dinners aren’t served until the late afternoon, so you’ll have plenty of time to workout as usual. Maybe even run in the local Turkey Trot race in your city.
5. Use Smart Substitutions in Your Cooking
Try to avoid using tons of salt, cream and sugars in your cooking. Some guests will argue that this is the “good stuff,” but you’ll be paying for it the day after Thanksgiving. And remember to serve plenty of vegetable dishes alongside the turkey, biscuits and potatoes.
6. Travel Wisely
The holidays wreak havoc on travel so consider making minimal travel plans. If you only have to travel a short distance consider walking or biking. Breathing in some fresh November air is good for your lungs.
7. Eat Breakfast
Don’t skip breakfast on Thanksgiving. Eat a light meal and plenty of fruit. Meal skipping encourages overeating, so if you take one piece of this advice, remember to eat breakfast.
8. Opt for White Meat
White meat is much leaner than dark meat, by eating the leaner option you’ll be consuming 45-less calories, according to LiveScience.
9. Eat Slowly
It takes 20 minutes for our brains to talk to our stomach and communicate that we are full. The Thanksgiving meal is not a race, pace yourself and eat slowly. However, even if you over indulge on the holiday you won’t gain weight. It takes long periods of time and lots of overeating for weight gain to occur.
10. Say No to Seconds
Going back for seconds leads to overeating and when we eat too much we are left with that “too-full” uncomfortable feeling after the meal. Or, the food coma.