Do you freak out over Thanksgiving? I used to. Only because I knew there would be a ton of food that 1) I wasn't used to eating through the year so I knew it would mess with my sensitive digestion system 2) couldn't bear the thought of gaining the typical 7 lbs the internet swore I would 3) not necessarily a fan of turkey, creamy based foods and chaos. O - the dread of Thanksgiving!
So if you are like me, there are a few things that we can do to help prevent that Thanksgiving Anxiety!
Here's how I deal with the day of gluttony (aka Thanksgiving):
1. I schedule a lot of physical activity. The Sunday before, I try to run a half. This year, again, I will run the Route 66 Half in Tulsa. It's great because it is such an awesome route, with awesome organization. It's also great because we have all of the Perfect Pacer's side of the family that live there. Then on Thanksgiving day, I'll run a 5 mile Turkey Trot early in the morning.
Tip: Run an extra 10 minutes a day during the holiday week. This will help you stay on track, prevent some of the bloating and gorging and just generally make you feel better (endorphins).
2. You can enjoy the day without feeling like you've gorged. I pick and choose what I'm going to eat and how much. It's all about choices. I will have a bite of sweet but not an entire slice. I'll often take the first bite off my husband's slice so that I feel satisfied without sacrifice (food is always better off his plate). I'll also make sure that I have a green salad full of raw, fresh veggies. And that will take the majority of my plate leaving little room for anything else.
Tip: Remember your portions. Are they bigger then your fist? Make sure you have a ton of raw, fiber filled veggies throughout the day - these will help tame your appetite and fill you up before the big spread.
3. Chaos Onset. Many households fill up with extended family and friends. It can often lead to times of feeling overwhelmed and anxious which can lead to that dreaded stress eating. Again, my 5 mile morning run really helps me deal with these kinds of issues. I suggest you find a run or get up early and hit the gym. Again - it's about choices.
Tip: If you can't run or workout, then take 10 minutes for yourself throughout the course of the day. Just disappear into your room (or a locked bathroom) and just breathe. Browse aimlessly through your facebook, read a gossip mag, or just stare at the cieling. Take this breather will help curb the overwhelming sensation chaos can bring.
4. It's not a Day of Gluttony unless you make it that way. I save it up for the meal. I snack of raw veggies much of the day, eat my regular protein heavy breakfast and usually grab a smaller plate for the main meal so that I don't overfill with bad choices. It's a meal - not a week. You don't have to eat every single thing your co-workers bring to work. Keeping your eye on the larger goal in your life will greatly help you with this.
Tip: Grab a smaller plate then what everyone else eats off of. Don't overfill but do put a spoonful of what you want on there. That way, you can eat and enjoy without over indulging. And by pacing yourself, you'll not undue an entire month of workouts in one meal.
5. If alcohol is involved, pace yourself. Drink a glass of seltzer water between each alcoholic drink. The seltzer water will fill you up as well as help flush the kidneys and more importantly, keep you from getting drunk and making a food of yourself!
Tip: Choose the lightest alcohol you can - clear is best. Also, eat asparagus as it aids in the flushing of the kidneys and liver and helps to quickly metabolize the sugar in the alcohol.
Have a great holiday season!!!