Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Edison explains how to survive Thanksgiving and the holiday season without putting on pounds
The time for temptation is upon us, and it begins with the unofficial opening of the holiday season and a dinner table stuffed just like the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. You’ve been there before, you know what delicious options will be offered to you and how they’ll affect your waistline afterwards, and yet willpower still tends to fall by the wayside as you gorge and wind up feeling guilty about it the next day.
Sound familiar? Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. The holiday season is a dangerous time for weight control, as gatherings and feasts of all kinds take precedent over healthy eating and exercise. It all starts with Thanksgiving and the cornucopia of tasty and often calorie-filled treats presented to us. In fact, a typical Turkey Day dinner contains a whopping 4,500 calories, which is more than double most people’s daily calorie needs.
Sure, Thanksgiving is only one day, but splurging on it and not making any changes afterwards could start a trend for the next few weeks that may become difficult to break. This explains why most people gain weight during the holiday season and then try to start the New Year off with new workout plan to shed the extra pounds. At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, we have a better idea: keep that weight off in the first place by starting a positive trend at Thanksgiving and sticking with it through the holidays. Here’s what you can do on and after Turkey Day to maintain a healthy weight and get through the next few weeks guilt-free.
- Eat a small breakfast that’s high in protein and fiber (e.g. egg and toast, whole-grain cereal, etc.) so your appetite is reasonable at the meal
- Do what you can to fit some physical activity into the day; 5Ks are popular on Thanksgiving, and if you can’t exercise on your own, organize a football or baseball game; you’ll burn calories and feel better when you sit down
- Appetizers can be especially dangerous, so try to make safe snacking choices before the big meal; raw fruits and veggies and pretzels are smart
- Survey the table or buffet before filling your plate, and go with small portions of healthy foods only available during the holidays; avoid seconds
- Eat slowly and put your fork down after each bite while trying to savor each mouthful, which is one of the best ways to be satisfied with one plate
- Regulate your alcohol intake, which can also add to calorie intake quickly
- Try going for a brisk walk with family or friends after the meal
We hope these tips are helpful, but if you do slip up and wind up stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving, it’s also important to not get down on yourself about it. Instead, use it as motivation to stay committed to your workout plan or start a new program if you don’t already have one. Stick with it and stay committed over the next few weeks (having a workout buddy helps) so you don’t start the New Year trying to catch up.
At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Edison, Woodbridge, Union and Somerville, NJ, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to take command of your habits over the holiday season to curb weight gain. For more advice or to schedule an appointment, call 732-494-0895.