Thanksgiving is a time for family, to celebrate what we are thankful for, and of course….to EAT!! Many people throw caution to the wind, and eat with abandon on Thanksgiving – after all, it only comes one day a year, right? I certainly do not believe that Thanksgiving is a time to be worried about dieting – but going to the other extreme might not be ideal either. Overindulging can not only make us very uncomfortable (if you forgot your stretchy elastic waistband pants, or your digestive enzymes), it can also set us up for a pattern of overeating and holiday weight gain. One other very important thing to consider is that studies have found that particularly heavy meals also can quadruple the risk of a heart attack, especially those with existing risk factors.
The average American consumes approximately 5,000 calories by the end of Turkey day, with the main meal alone being around 3,000 calories. It is no wonder people can end up on the couch in a “food coma”!
Here are some tips to help you make your Thanksgiving a little healthier and keep you from feeling like the stuffed turkey at the end of the day.
7 Tips to Skip the Thanksgiving Bloat:
1. Hit the road!
Starting the day with a walk or a turkey trot is a great way to get the metabolism going before the feast. Studies suggest that exercising within 12 hours before a meal can prevent one of the most damaging effects—a post-meal spike in a type of fat called triglycerides. Walk for an hour and you can create a deficit of approx. 230 calories. Go for a run, and you could burn 500 calories. If you can’t do a morning outing, fitting a walk in between dinner and dessert is also great – it will also help boost digestion. If you can’t get out for a walk after the meal – at least get up and do dishes. Not only will your hosts appreciate it, your will burn some calories (60 calories per half and hour), and it also aids digestion. Research shows that the person who does the dishes in the house tends to be less likely to gain weight. Anything is better for your digestion than laying on the couch!
7. Avoid conflicts at dinner.
It might be easier said than done for some families to leave conflicts at the door. But according to Ayurveda – which originated in India thousands of years ago – imbalances of the digestive system and mind creates ailments. Ayurveda says that our state of mind affects our digestion and well-being.
So in the Ayurvedic tradition – lets all make our Thanksgiving dinners with love, enjoy the meal fully/without guilt, leave our conflicts and worries at the door, and celebrate with family all that we are thankful for (and have those digestive enzymes on hand – just in case)!
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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