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5 Ways to Stay on Track during Thanksgiving

by Lauren Rae, TRYM Fitness Coach and Sunwarrior Contributing Writer

Another year has passed and it’s time to gather with friends and family for some fun, football, and of course…food. As the scents of sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie fill the air, don’t let one day blow all of your hard work and dedication. Follow these 5 simple steps to keeping to your fitness goals on Thanksgiving.

1. Keep regular meals outside of Thanksgiving Dinner in line with your current nutritional plans and goals.

Do your best to always keep your dietary schedule as regular as possible. However, if you plan to indulge a little, consume lean proteins and save your carb intake for a treat. If you usually have eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, have egg whites and pass up oatmeal and any fruit. Keep on schedule and have your nutritional small meals 2–3 hours apart. When it’s time for the Thanksgiving meal and all the fixin’s, enjoy! Eat mindfully, enjoy every bite as you would any other reward meal, then get back on track. Any remaining meals or snacks consume as your nutrition plan states.

start_your_thanksgiving_day_with_some_exercise_to_boost_metabolism_pic2. Do some sort of activity the morning of to get the blood flowing and calories burning.

Get your family outside for some healthy competition. Flag football, ultimate frisbee, boot camp? Get outside, get active, and start burning some calories before the big feast. Boosting your metabolism with a high intensity workout causes you to burn more calories throughout the next 24–48 hours. Even while you sleep! The idea is to work around 85% of your maximum heart rate. (To calculate your MHR, subtract your age from 220.)

3. Minimize alcohol intake while you’re eating.

Eating outside of your usual calorie consumption tends to happen during the holidays. That being the case, minimizing alcohol intake can keep healthy digestion on track. Alcohol inhibits digestion and our bodies will always attend to purifying the body of harmful alcohol toxins over digesting foods if it has to choose between them, and therefore calories consumed are stored.

4. Drink a lot of water.

Healthy digestion also requires adequate amounts of water. In order for your body to carry out toxins, burn fat, and lubricate organs and joints, you must make hydration a priority. Not only will you cut cravings and get fuller more quickly, you’re replacing minerals lost during those pre-thanksgiving dinner activities.

use_the_extra_energy_from_all_that_food_to_fuel_your_workout_friday_pic5. Use your stored energy from Thanksgiving Dinner to blast major body parts in the gym on Friday.

Plan your workouts accordingly this week. Because you’re going to be indulging in extra calories, use the stored energy to get an awesome workout the next day. Focus on major body groups like legs or chest and back. Do super sets with heavy weights and 20–30 minutes of interval cardio post workout.

Whatever you choose to indulge in this Thanksgiving, sticking to a plan will help keep you on track towards your fitness goals. Implement these 5 important steps during the holidays and come up with New Year’s resolutions you’re actually interested in following through on without the distraction of those extra pounds.

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