About 4,000 calories: That’s just one person’s average intake at the Thanksgiving dinner table each year. That equates to a little over a pound of fat or at least 10 hours of walking to burn off those calories.
Before making a Hail Mary plea to the wishbone, consider these Fitness Together tips to make Thanksgiving a more waistline-friendly affair:
- Start the day with breakfast. No, that pumpkin spice flavored coffee pod does not count. But because you have a busy day ahead, dish up something quick, light, and healthy in the morning. Try some toast, an egg, or a banana, but have something. This will help to reign in your appetite at dinner time, allowing you to enjoy the meal without stuffing (mmm… stuffing) your face.
- Take a walk. Call it a “turkey trot,” if it helps you to get into the spirit. A walk before and after dinner will not only help you burn calories and maintain a fighting weight, but the activity itself is something that can be enjoyed with family, friends, and loved ones.
- Exercise more in the weeks preceding and following Thanksgiving. While you’re at it, use that time to cut back on calories significantly. This won’t necessarily negate the “damage” done on Turkey Day, but it will help to balance whatever lax dining decisions are made. Fitness Together Ellicott City is open Monday through Saturday in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and is open from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Thanksgiving morning for training and cardio. Our fully equipped private and semi-private workout suites are the perfect place to get some extra reps in.
- Enjoy your favorites. Yes. Even the gravy. But here’s the caveat: You can’t sample everything. You must be selective. Even though there are bound to be an abundance of menu items stationed around at the dinner table, there is absolutely no rule you have to take something from every serving tray.
- Don’t gobble all of the turkey. When it comes to the bird, it helps to know what is nutritious and what is not. In short, aim for the white meat. Avoid the crispy, calorie and fat-filled skin. For more turkey-based tips, check out this checklist.
- Take it easy on the desserts. Hey, we just said you could have mashed potatoes and gravy. Give us a break. If you’re going to opt for a slice of pie after dinner (one slice, that is – and no whipped cream), you’re going to have to give up something savory early on.
- Don’t rush. You probably don’t have to chew every bite 32 times, but you should chew slowly. Remember, this is a celebration of life, not a Major League Eating competition. Take breaks between mouthfuls. This allows your stomach and brain time to coordinate with one another and give you an accurate “full” reading.
- Place emphasis on the conversation and camaraderie. This is less of a Fitness Together tip, and more of a familial suggestion. After all, even though the meal tends to take the spotlight when the holiday is discussed, Thanksgiving isn’t all about the food that is served – it’s about being grateful for the people you share it with.
The personal trainers at Fitness Together Ellicott City wish you and your family the happiest of holiday seasons.