I’ve always been non-committal on a *favorite* holiday because the time between Thanksgiving + New Year’s Eve is just too good to pick one! Between time with family + friends, gift-giving, all the great movies on TV, + of course lots of #EEEEEATS, the end of the year is always my fav.
But making the most of this Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you need to put your FitGoals + the progress you’ve made throughout the year aside, + you certainly don’t need to sacrifice a little apple pie here + there to stay #inCHAARG. Like the rest of the year, it’s all about planning + balance.
1] EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST
As you strategize your Thanksgiving Day, it’s tempting to skip on breakfast//lunch in exchange for a BIG mid-day feast. Instead of skimping early in the day, make sure to eat a nutritional breakfast + lunch [depending what time your dinner is], so your metabolism is already kick-started. This will help you know how much food your body *truly* needs to feel strong + energized, + can help avoid the post-meal sluggishness.
2] VOLUNTEER TO HELP IN THE KITCHEN
When you’re spending time waiting for your Thanksgiving feast to finish cooking, it’s very easy to load up on the cheese + crackers before dinner is even ready. Instead of nommin’ during the pre-dinner conversations + football games, volunteer to help your relatives who are on kitchen duty. This will keep you moving + on your feet ++ your relatives will definitely appreciate the company + assistance.
3] BRING A SIDE DISH OR DESSERT
If you’re visiting family or friends this Thanksgiving, offer to help out by bringing a dish or two. The host will probably appreciate the slight break from cooking + you’ll be completely in control of what you make + what goes into it.
4] FILL YOUR PLATE WITH VEGGIES + PROTEINS FIRST
Make sure you’re considering portion size when filling your plate. It’s tempting drop a large dose of mashed potatoes + stuffing on more than half of your plate, but try prioritizing the veggies + proteins first + then filling the remaining space with those more indulgent sides.
If you allocate more plate real estate to more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll feel much better indulging on a little apple or pumpkin pie than if you went straight to the starchy carbs that aren’t quite as easy on the stomach.
5] EAT SLOWLY + PRACTICE MODERATION
Once you sit down to eat it can be very easy to dive right in + only take a break when it’s time for seconds. Instead of immediately picking up your fork, fill your plate + drink a large glass of water as dishes are being passed around the table. Your brain takes a little more time to realize that you’re filling up than your stomach does + this will help put something in your stomach, so your brain can catch up.
When filling your plate, focus on what you *really want*. It’s easy to take a serving of everything *because it’s Thanksgiving*, but don’t eat things simply because they’re there — fill your plate with what you want + what will make you feel good.
6] GET YOUR SWEAT SESH IN EARLY
We’re team #6AMCLUB year-round, but prioritizing those early morning workouts is especially useful around Thanksgiving + the other holidays. Getting this part of your day out of the way early gives you the whole day for holiday festivities — no more #FOMO on skipping out on festivities to hit the gym.
7] FIND A THANKSGIVING-THEMED RACE
Local communities are all about festive races this time of year. Look out for Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trots + find one [or more!] in your area to register for with family // friends. Most races take place early in the morning, so this will help you act on getting your sweat sesh in early + is a GREAT opportunity to spend more holiday time with the people you care about. No races in your area? — create your own *turkey trot*! Taking a walk after dinner will help you beat that *turkey-induced slump* + give you a chance to catch up with your relatives.
8] SUGGEST *ACTIVE* SOCIAL TIME
If races aren’t high on the to-do list for your family + friends, spend your time together off the couch//out of bars + get outside. While it may be a tad brisk this time of year, you can still take advantage of your time off from school//work + enjoy what remains of the autumn leaves by going on a nice hike.
9] WATCH YOUR BEVERAGE INTAKE
Now a little wine, spiced cider, or hot cocoa isn’t going to do you in [‘tis the season, after all], it’s important not to go *too crazy*. Some of these drinks rival desserts in calories + sugar content, so make sure to always choose water as your primary beverage.
Above all, it’s important to remember that the holiday season only comes around once a year. Enjoy this time with the people you care about + don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’re as *on top of your game* as you think you should be. The holidays go as quickly as they sneak up on us, + in a few weeks, we’ll be ringing in a new year with new FitGoals that we’ll conquer + crush in 2016.
We want you to feel happy + healthy, but above all, we want you to ENJOY IT! This is a time for celebrating + reflecting on the year as it closes. You’ve worked hard this year, + if you want that slice of pie or the extra cookie, #TreatYoSelf.
How do you stay healthy + #inCHAARG during the holiday season? Share with us on Instagram + tag #inCHAARG!
+ Ali [ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly