Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks the Fit Way!

By Diana Chaloux
Thanksgiving time is here and the holiday season has begun. This is a time for celebration, a time to be grateful for all of your blessings in life… a time to lose sight of your fitness goals. Time out! That last one should not be part of this list! Unfortunately it is very common for people to completely lose all awareness of their health and fitness throughout the holidays. How about giving thanks the fit way this year so you can enjoy the season AND a fit healthy body at the same time.

Giving thanks the fit way does not mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods, or sitting in a separate room during Thanksgiving dinner so you won’t be tempted! It does mean maintaining awareness of your fitness goals and recognizing that when you lead a healthy lifestyle holidays are simply a potential fitness obstacle that must be addressed. When you have a strategy in place for dealing with the holidays you will find that sticking with your fitness goals is easier than you thought.

Preparation and moderation are the two crucial elements you will need in order to survive Thanksgiving without completely sabotaging yourself. Get started on your own Thanksgiving fit plan today, here are a few tips to get you headed in the fit direction.

Get your workouts in consistently throughout the week. Remember that even if they are abbreviated it is better to get them in than to forego them completely. If Thanksgiving will be a day off of exercise for you, schedule your work outs for the day before and after and stick with your commitment. Burn off some extra calories on the day of Thanksgiving by getting the family out for a brisk walk and some fresh air!

If you are traveling for the holiday take some time to figure out how you will get your physical activities in even while on the road. If you are staying at a hotel check to see if they have a fitness room, if you are staying with family ask about potential neighborhood walking routes which you could use to get your cardio in. Pack healthy snacks and foods to take on the road with you too.

Eat a healthy breakfast on Turkey Day morning. This is still the most important meal of the day, it will spark your metabolism and you will be less likely to overdo it during dinner. If you are eating Thanksgiving dinner late, eat small meals consistently through the day until 2-3 hours before the main event. Whatever you do don’t starve your body until meal time!

Rather than splurging all at once, eat a smaller portion during the main course meal and then save a plate of leftovers that you can serve as a second meal in a couple of hours. Turkey is typically the food of choice on Thanksgiving, save some calories by choosing white meat instead of dark, skip the gravy or at least keep it to the side and use it for dipping purposes. That same rule applies for all sauces, dressings and other fixings that grace the Thanksgiving table. Remember that these additional toppings can add mass amounts of extra calories to your meal!

Choose your sweets and desserts wisely. Select the ones that are your favorites and enjoy them in small portions or share them with a friend. Carry sugar free gum with you and chew it prior to and after dinner so you are less likely to nibble on all the temptations that may be placed around.

Don’t lose sight of your fitness objectives this Turkey Day! Review your goals and motivators and plan your eating and exercise strategies ahead of time. Enjoy yourself while practicing moderation on Thanksgiving and most importantly get right back to your healthy eating habits the day after. Don’t forget to give thanks this year for your body and for your ability to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle!

Diana Chaloux
ACE/AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
WBFF Figure World Champion 2008
Kansas City Personal Training at Hitch Fit Gym
Online Training and Nutrition Programs

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad to find your blog! I had no idea!!!

    I read that post below...I am so the "mindless snacker."