1. Plan it Out
If you’re celebrating with the regular crowd, by now you know who brings which dishes (Mom’s special cheesy potatoes, Aunt Sue’s famous pumpkin pie) so start thinking about what you’re planning on eating, or avoiding. This is how I break it down: each meal I want a protein, a good carb, and a veggie. Thanksgiving is no different.
Protein source: Turkey—I eat the white meat. Vegetarian? Try cooking your own protein? substitute for dinner.
Good-carb sources: Rice and potatoes, just beware of the butter.
Veggies sources: Green beans, corn, carrots, and peas.
2. Other Things to Watch Out For
Look out for added ingredients such as sugar, butter, bread crumbs, and sauces. While no one is expecting you to eat 100% clean on Thanksgiving—I’m looking forward to treating myself to a roll and a piece of pumpkin pie—just don’t go crazy like it’s your last meal.
3. Dare to Dessert
Once again, it comes down to planning. Pick one dessert you are going to eat, not three. There may be a lot of choices, and they all will look yummy, but as they say, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”. It will only taste good for a moment, but you will regret eating it a lot longer than that so eat a dessert you’ll munch slowly and savor.
4. Don’t Graze
Avoid nibbling on food the rest of the night (or for a few days after), and stick to your basic meal schedule. Keep your meals clean the rest of the weekend, and be sure to eat every two to three hours.
5. Get Moving
Take a walk after dinner, or go for a run. You’ll feel great, and it will get you out of the house and away from the all the goodies.
6. Be Strong
Watching what you eat can be a dangerous thing around family members. “You don’t need to watch what you eat,” or “Aren’t you going to try my___?” These may be some of the things you’ll hear at the table, and you may even catch a few dirty looks, but you can kindly tell them that this is your personal choice, and explain to them why you’ve decided to make the choices you have. It may be a learning experience for them.
7. Hit the Gym
It may be crowded at the gym the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s worth it. Getting back on track immediately will keep you from falling off the workout wagon. Too packed in the gym for a workout? Take it outside. Plan an outdoor workout including lots of plyos and cardio, this will have you feeling great after Thanksgiving Day!