How enjoy eating during the holidays while avoiding extra pounds
Today, I want to share with you my Thanksgiving health tips, specifically how to avoid gaining 10 pounds on Thanksgiving!
Now, has anyone ever really gained 10 pounds on Thanksgiving day? Fortunately, I haven’t seen anyone actually gain that much on Thanksgiving day itself, but I have seen people gain 10 pounds over a 30-day period between Thanksgiving and Christmas! You don’t want to be that person, so let me share with you my top secrets and tips for not gaining holiday weight.
3 important Thanksgiving health tips
- Get active
The number one Thanksgiving health tip I would recommend is for you to get outside and get active, first thing on Thanksgiving morning. Even if it’s snowing in your area, getting outside for 20 minutes is a great thing to do – or if you can’t do that, do a 20-minute Burst training workout. If you don’t have 20 minutes, even five minutes can help you keep that weight off.
In addition to your morning workout, get outside and do something active during the day. One of the things we’ve done in my family for years is get out and play a little bit of football for an hour or so. We love doing it. Getting outside and creating an active, family tradition is a great way to have fun and, at the same time, burn some of those extra calories you’ve probably consumed on Thanksgiving day.
- Focus on protein
Another one of my Thanksgiving health tips when you’re trying to keep the extra weight off is to focus on more good, quality protein foods.
Turkey is amazing. It’s full of tryptophan, protein and other amino acids that can really support your immune system, which can also help improve your mood. So, when you’re loading up that plate Thanksgiving Day, pack on the turkey to enjoy these many healthy benefits. 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 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. Throw in the beneficial B vitamin content – namely niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin – and turkey also benefits digestion, brain development, immunity, metabolism and red blood cell production.
So, have the turkey piled high, go easy on the gravy and stuffing, and add plenty of turkey and good vegetables to your Thanksgiving plate. If you can, get some other good protein in there – even foods such as deviled eggs are healthier options – that’s one of the best Thanksgiving health tips I can offer.
As an added benefit, you can make many healthy, delicious leftover turkey recipes that help limit weight gain and keep those pants from getting too tight!
- Monitor your meals
Last but not least on the Thanksgiving health tips list, if you want to keep weight off on Thanksgiving Day, monitor your meals. Pumpkin pie is fine, as is a little bit of cranberry sauce – such as my Cranberry Sauce with Pecans recipe – but try to stick to one piece.
Also, on Thanksgiving morning, wake up and consume a superfood shake. You’re probably going to overeat at that big Thanksgiving meal – and maybe even with the leftovers that night – but if you can, still wake up and get a good, healthy, quality breakfast; that’s going to help you keep the weight off.
For instance, I recommend a healthy smoothie recipe with a good, quality protein powder, some coconut milk and maybe like half a cup of berries – but really limit your carbohydrates in the morning. That’s going to allow your body to burn more carbs later on in the day.
If you do those two things, you’re not going to pack on the weight. If you overeat a little bit, that’s fine – simply get back on your horse on Friday or Saturday.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
This article originally appeared on DrAxe.com and is republished here with permission.