By Jeremy Ray, Fitness Center Coordinator, Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock
It’s hard to believe the holidays are here. It’s the time of year we get together with family, put our jackets on, watch football, and go hunting. Fun stuff!
If you’ve been working out, watching your diet, and practicing better habits, it can be a challenging time to stay on track, especially if you haven’t developed those habits and acquired the discipline to help you navigate through the temptations to come.
I want to give you a few things to think about this season and then give you some tips to use at Grandma’s.
First, the average person consumes 4,500 calories at Thanksgiving. Just to put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent to eating 15 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Wow! Don’t get me wrong, that is a cheat day for me as well, but not that much. It would take a 150-pound person riding a bike at 12 mph for eight to nine hours to burn that off.
It’s hard to resist when everyone knows that on Thanksgiving everyone will be getting together to bring their favorite dish, eat until they can’t move, relax for a while, and then go at it again.
But not you this year.
Here are five tips to help you survive this holiday season without destroying all that hard work and putting on an extra pound or two.
1) Get your workout session in, even if it’s a condensed version (20 to 30 minutes), so you can rev up your metabolism and get it behind you.
2) Do not starve yourself all day, but better yet, eat one or two healthy snacks to keep yourself from destroying everything in sight.
3) Hydrate. Sometimes a hunger feeling can be sign of dehydration. Also, consuming water before going to your destination will give you a sense of fullness.
4) Portion control. Look, your Aunt Jenny is going to get mad if you don’t try her famous dessert, even if there are 60 grams of sugar in it, so just watch your portions. Try using a smaller dish or section your plate off with a protein, veggie, starch, and a smaller section for desert.
5) Take a 10 to 15 minute break. If you choose to have a second helping, then wait about 10 to 15 minutes before going for round two so your body will have time to register the food you just ate. You might find that you’re fuller than you actually feel.
You can get through the holiday season and enjoy the many treats that come with it without the guilt! Good luck and happy holidays!