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Carol Ann
United states
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Fit For Feasting

posted on9 December, 2010

We are now well into what I call the “BER” months. These are the months when all of the physical and nutritional training that occurred all year long will be confronted and tested. Septem”ber” is my family’s birthday month. We have 3 birthdays in the month of September; therefore, there is a lot of cake and ice cream celebration going on at our house. Then, of course, Octo”ber” is the tooth decay, sugar-rush, eat-me-sick Halloween month. As soon as that holiday is over, Turkey Day is right around the corner with the “pbottom me the stuffing, yams, green beans, and the-everything-else until I explode” holiday in Novem”ber”. THEN, we won’t even go there with Decem”ber” (that will be next month’s article). Therefore, you have to ask yourself, “Are you fit for feasting?” In other words, are all of the knowledge that you acquired and all of the training that you did this past year going to be your best weapons when you approach Thanksgiving Day? During this time of celebration, a healthy attitude towards weight management is maintenance. Enjoy your holidays, but be smart about it. Here are 5 easy steps towards being fit for feasting on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.

Plan Avoid having Thanksgiving Day sneak up on you without having a plan of action. Write down what you are going to do hour-by-hour on T-day. This will help you avoid having down time and the opportunity to snack. Ensure that you schedule a workout time before the day gets started. Exercising before the festivities will give you a sense of accomplishment, give you a guilt-free mind-set if you eat a little more than usual, and rev up your metabolism. Schedule activities throughout the day with the family such as going to a parade, playing volleyball, or going rollerblading. Prior to T-Day, write down what you are going to eat that day and estimate how many calories that list will total. Avoid going over 2500 calories for the entire day. During T-Day, log everything you eat to keep yourself accountable. This simple exercise of logging your food intake is deterrent enough for overeating. Also write down the activities that you perform so that you can evaluate the entire day.

Get a Head Start On the morning of T-Day, eat a healthy breakfast. Healthy breakfast foods include fruits, whole wheat toast, oatmeal, and whole grain cereals. Avoid starving yourself until the grand meal. Drink water throughout the day to create a sense of fullness so that you are not tempted to snack too much. Jumpstart your metabolism by taking a walk or exercising first thing in the morning.

Making Healthy Choices and Substitute No pun intended, but because Thanksgiving is all about food, making healthy choices and substituting smart foods is the meat of the 5-step process to being fit for feasting. When you dissect the Thanksgiving meal and really analyze the foods that are prepared for Thanksgiving, they are really very healthy and not fattening. It is the manner in which these foods are prepared that is fattening and caloric fortified. Furthermore, it is the portion sizes that sabotage the nutrition plan. Here are some tips in bottomisting you with reducing the amount of calories, fat, and sugar that is consumed during this holiday.
1. Turkey: Turkey Breast is actually very healthy for you supplying you with a great protein source. To reduce the calories and fat, ensure that you remove the skin before eating.
2. Gravy: If you are making home-made gravy reduce the fat by straining the drippings and using flour to thicken the sauce. You can buy gravy in a jar that is low in fat as well.
3. Stuffing: Home made stuffing can be made the healthy way by omitting the butter and using non-fat broth. The boxed stuffing is pretty low in fat.
4. Mashed Potatoes: Listen up, everyone. Write this down. POTATOES ARE NOT FATTENING! They are a great source of energy, vitamins, and minerals. Instead of using cream or whole milk, use skim milk, 1% milk, or fat-free sour cream. Flavor them with garlic powder and pepper instead of butter.
5. Sweet Potatoes/Yams: My favorite side dish is the yams. Instead of loading them up with butter, sugar, and pecans, sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar for sweetness. Yams are an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber.
6. Green Bean Cbottomerole: To reduce the calories and fat in this dish, modify the amount of fried dried onions on top. Use reduced fat cream of mushroom soup instead of the regular.
7. Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and are naturally fat free. Enjoy!
8. Rolls: Again, bread is not fattening. WHAT you put on your bread may be fattening. Control how many rolls you consume to cut back on calories.
9. Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene and fiber. To reduce the fat and calories within the pie recipe, use egg beaters instead of regular eggs, fat free evaporated milk, phyllo dough for the crust or low-fat graham cracker crust.
10. Before your meal, snack on healthy foods such as raw veggies and fruits with yogurt dip, nuts, and whole wheat crackers.
The typical thanksgiving meal is between 2500-3000 calories and 130 grams of fat! That is equivalent to 5 Bic Macs or 14 brownies. By following the above tips, you will reduce those amounts by one third or more!

Move Remember the mantra, “Calories In and Calories Out.” You know that you are going to be feasting on this day; therefore, if you consume a little more calories than usual, ensure that you move to burn them off. You can sprinkle short 10-minute exercise sessions throughout the day. In the morning, take a 10-minute walk. Around noon, schedule a 10-minute basketball game with the family. After the meal, take a 10-minute rollerblade excursion. This will ensure that you are burning calories throughout the day. The bottom line is for every calorie that you consume, you need to perform some sort of activity to burn off that same calorie to maintain weight.

Evaluate the Day Reflect on how you did during the day. Review your nutrition and activity log. Reward yourself if you reach your goal of maintaining the caloric balance. The reward should be something like a mbottomage or pedicure….NOT a double hot fudge sundae!!! If you fell a little short of your goal, don’t beat yourself over it. Get right back on schedule with proper nutrition and exercise the next day. Christmas is right around the corner!!!

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