Let's face it; the holidays can be tough on the waistline. Family get-togethers typically begin with a plethora of pies, casseroles, and dinner rolls, and ultimately lead to one massive carb coma with a pound or two gained. This may be okay for the average person, but not for you. You live your life differently. You go to the gym, stick to your diet, and sometimes even sacrifice social outings, for the sake of rocking your dream bod. Yet, on Thanksgiving Day, are you willing to forget about your hard work and dedication prior to your carb induced regrets? Not so fast! You have worked entirely too hard to let your goals slip by. Here are some tips to enjoying the festivities without impacting your progress: 1. Make healthy substitutes. There are lots of substitutes you can make. For example, cut calories and fat by using spray butter instead real butter, try cauliflower mashed instead of loaded mashed potatoes, opt out of grandma's pumpkin pie and make a Mini Pumpkin Protein Pie. Small substitutes go a long way when it comes to shaving off additional calories. You could also bring a fruit or veggie tray instead of a pie. 2. Serve fewer items. Keep your dish options simple. Stick only to the basics. Why? You will have fewer leftovers, which leads to less of a chance of overeating after the holiday. This is Thanksgiving Day, not Thanksgiving week. Don't fret, you will most likely have leftover turkey for the days after. 3. Plan an intense Thanksgiving Day workout. Whenever I anticipate a "cheat meal," or re-feed day, I plan an intense lower body day complete with deadlifts and squats. Your gym may be closed on Thanksgiving and that's okay. There are plenty of 5K races, or you can go for a walk after you eat. Check out Thanksgiving Damage Control for a sample workout. 4. Adjust your macros* to fit in some cheat foods. *Macronutrients (macros) are the nutrients your body needs to function properly. These are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The realist in me knows that you, and I, will be enjoying some foods we don't typically eat. Adjusting your macros is one of the most underutilized tips I know. It sounds complicated, but it's actually pretty easy. Let's pretend, (wink, wink), that you will be eating some fabulous desserts on Thanksgiving Day. Knowing you are going to be indulging in some extra carbs and fats, you can cut out your morning oatmeal, egg yolks, and turkey bacon, and opt for an egg white omelet with some fresh veggies mixed in. At lunch you can cut out your sweet potato or brown rice and choose some veggies instead. The magic in the process is that you just freed up quite a few carbs and fats during the day to make room for the later treats. You might end up slightly over your macros at the end of the day, but it may not be by much. 5. Watch out for "hidden calories." Have you heard of hidden calories? These are the sneaky calories that are often imperceptible. Where do these calories hide? In condiments, a nibble here and there, and drinks, especially alcoholic ones. You may think a dollop of whipped cream on your hot cocoa, or a ladle of gravy is okay, but pretty soon, you just added over 100 calories to your day. Be careful! It's easy to overindulge on a couple cubes of cheese, creamer in your coffee, whipped cream, butter, ketchup, soda, a seemingly harmless glass of wine, and even olive oil. Keep your food as basic as possible. Use herbs and spices to give your food flavor, not condiments. 6. Get your family on board. One of the greatest things you can do is get your family to understand the benefits of making healthier choices instead of binging. It may take some convincing. Remind them that Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what you have, appreciating those around you, and spending quality time with family. Try making it a competition to see who can make the tastiest, healthy dish. If you still can't convince your family to make wiser dish selections, then be the strong one. Set an example for your family to follow. They will admire your self control. With these six tips, you will be able to enjoy the holidays without enjoying an increased pant size. It is very possible to have a guilt-free Gobble Day. Remember the sacrifice you made to committing to healthy lifestyle. Don't let one day sabotage months of hard work. Join me in sharing your healthy holiday pictures on Scivation's Facebook and Instagram, using #GuiltFreeGobbleDay. I look forward to connecting with you.
Guilt Free Gobble Day: 6 Tips to Staying on Track
By Team XTEND