Gaining weight during the holiday season is a national pastime. According to WebMD, most of us gain at least a pound (every year) during the holidays–and keep the extra weight permanently. Read on for some tips from the world-famous Pritikin Longevity Center on how to avoid packing on the pounds this Thanksgiving.
Enjoy the day.
How you eat on Thanksgiving Day does not determine your health; how you eat the other 364 days of the year does.
Start a healthy Thanksgiving with a big bountiful breakfast like hot whole-grain cereal and an egg-white omelet brimming with veggies. That’s because saving up calories for the big meal rarely works. You end up “spending” a lot more by overindulging on belly busters like a full ladle of gravy (about 800 calories) instead of a tablespoon-size taste (70 calories)
Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy, offer to bring your own version. Sweet potatoes, for example, can be real killers–full of butter, syrup, and marshmallows. But when prepared within Pritikin guidelines, they’re perfectly healthy–and absolutely delicious.
Just bake the yams in foil at 400 degrees F until their syrupy juice starts to seep out, usually about one hour. Then, peel and layer them with pineapple slices and a little cinnamon.
For most of us, there’s a certain part of the meal that gives us the most trouble. For some, it’s alcohol. For others, it may be dessert. Devise a strategy. For alcohol, tell yourself, “I’ll enjoy a half glass of wine with appetizers, and a half glass with dinner,” or decide to stick with mineral water at first, saving your alcohol for the main meal. Or, if you have a tough time putting on the brakes once you get started, don’t start. Steer clear of the bar–and relish everything else the day has to offer–good conversation, good food, good memories. If you have a sweet tooth, plan for it. If a taste of chocolate satisfies you, take it. Enjoy it. But if one taste sends you lusting for a lot more, offer to bring your own healthy dessert, such as fresh raspberries and sorbet. Or have dessert waiting for you when you return home. A nice reward for a job well done!
Position Yourself Well.
Don’t put yourself right in front of the candy dish. Who needs the agony? Plant yourself elsewhere, facing other pleasures–a nice fire, warm smiles, good tunes and a dance floor. You’ll have a much better time, and you’ll like yourself a lot more come morning.
Divide Your Plate Well.
Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes Pritikin-style.
Savor Every Bite.
Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and really savor each mouthful. It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy your holiday meal without going overboard on calories.
Do What You Want; No One’s Watching.
People often think that if they say “no” to certain dishes, everyone notices, or the host is insulted, when in fact there’s a very good chance no one notices. Just play it down. Simply say, “No thanks, I’m full,” or “Try me later.” Then, sit back and enjoy the rest of your healthy Thanksgiving Day.
Start Thanksgiving With Physical Activity – And Stay Active.
Take a walk early in the day. And after dinner, suggest everyone go out for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together.
Take the focus away from binging this Thanksgiving. Go outside and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
Another tip: Plan some outdoor fun before dinner, like a game of soccer or volleyball with the kids. (It’s a great strategy for keeping the appetizer buffet at bay, too.)
Keep Your Goals Firmly In Mind.
Before leaving for the party, steal away for a little quiet time to focus on you. Take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of your ultimate vision–a leaner you, a healthier you, a happier you. Then, tell yourself, “It’s going to be a great evening with family and friends!” Julia Child (of all people) said it best: “Life is the proper binge.”
Your EnduraQ can also be your secret weapon against weight gain this holiday season. Since it naturally burns fat and boosts your metabolism, it might be all you need to maintain your weight all the way through the new year.