You know it’s coming…
That day we have every year in which we gorge ourselves on sugar-bombs, wayyyyy too much alcohol, saturated fat and processed carbohydrates in the name of family…
Well, people, let’s get one thing straight: Thursday is not a magical what-I-put-into-my-body-doesn’t-count day. Your body’s going to process all that crap the same way it would any other day of the year.
So many people come back to train with me after Thanksgiving, expressing their regrets that they overdid it so badly. They feel bloated, lethargic, and even sick.
It’s the dreaded REGRETS-giving!
Ok, so we know that this day is full of foods you may not have access to throughout the rest of the year, so we have to give you some leeway when it comes to opportunities. I totally understand that, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do the same thing.
Overeating to the point of wanting to bust at the seams, having more “just because you can,” or eating things you don’t even really like because you don’t want to hurt your mother-in-law’s feelings is something else entirely.
I want you to be able to give thanks for the health you fight so hard to keep up with. You deserve to feel good today and every day! By taking any of the steps above, you’re choosing to feel like crap!
So I’ve devised a list of 5 Checkpoints to go over TODAY to make sure your Thanksgiving doesn’t become a REGRETSgiving. Cheers!
1. Load Up Your 10%
I’m not saying, “Don’t eat the good stuff this Thanksgiving.” Rather, I’m saying, “Hell yeah, eat all the good stuff you really like! Just don’t overdo it just because it’s Thanksgiving or eat the stuff you don’t like!”
Going into this week, you know that day is going to be LOADED with opportunities, so plan ahead of time. On holiday weeks, I like to put all my 10% meals into one day. For me, eating 4-5 times a day, that allows me 3-4 opportunities to eat whatever the hell I want. The rest of the week, I stick to my healthy regimen.
Load up your 10% meals if you know Thanksgiving dinner is going to take out all of them. Then, gobble freely! (see what I did there? ;) )
2. HIIT Up The Gym Pre-Feast
High intensity interval training is a great way to rev up your metabolism for the whole day… and maybe even into LEFTOVER turkey day.
If you hit the gym right before your turkey dinner, you’ll raise metabolism as well as insulin sensitivity, causing you to use more of those scrumptious calories toward replenishing glycogen stores in your muscles instead of loading up on your Santa belly.
The really cool thing? HIIT workouts don’t take very long at all!
Here are a couple great ways to kick up the burn in 10 minutes or less:
0:00-3:00 Active stretching warm up (try this one without the jump rope)
3:00-3:20 SPRINT 1 (sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds)
3:40-4:00 SPRINT 2
4:20-4:40 SPRINT 3
5:00-5:20 SPRINT 4
5:40-6:00 SPRINT 5
6:20-6:40 SPRINT 6
7:00-7:20 SPRINT 7
7:40-8:00 SPRINT 8
8:00-10:00 WALKING COOLDOWN/STRETCHING
(from Get Fit in 10 Minutes Today!)
Walking lunges- 10 out, 10 back for a total of 10 each leg
Push ups- from your knees if you can’t do a full push up- 8-10 reps
Plank hold- 30-60 seconds ideally right after you’re done with your pushups (no rest)
Rest 30 seconds
REPEAT FOR 10 MINUTES!
Please note: I do not condone the use of HIIT in order to binge the night away! It helps a little, sure, but it’s not going to magically keep you from storing an excess of calories when your body doesn’t need them. Know it for what it is: a little help when you know you’re wrapping a few opportunities into one.
3. Get Outside
Holding a convo with your uncle who wants to fill you in on the last year of his model-train-building life right next to the snack table maaaaaaay not be the best idea if you want to come out of this holiday at your fighting weight.
Grab a football and head outside with your more active family members and do your best Matt Saracen impression (Clear eyes, full hearts!).
Even if you’re not a football fan, there are plenty of activities you can do outside that will get you away from mindless snacking. And hey, the extra activity won’t hurt you either!
Here are some ideas:
- Play a game of tag with all the little ones
- Talk with your favorite relative on the patio with a mug of warm apple cider… no sugar added of course ;)
- Play with the dog in the backyard
- Rake up some leaves. You’ll come off as a saint AND get some much-needed head-clearing time!
- Go on a walk by yourself (even if it’s just 10 minutes)
Nature is a great way to get your grounding and re-focus on what’s really important to you. Spoiler alert: I bet it’s not an extra handful of Chex Mix…
4. Be Picky About Leftovers
Let’s be honest: not every food item from Turkey day is the most delicious come Friday.
Don’t be afraid to be picky when it comes to what gets nuked and what gets tossed.
Here are the healthiest options for staving off Leftover Lovehandles:
- Turkey sans skin (more white meat than dark)
- Any veggies that were sauteed, steamed, or baked (without creamy sauces or cheese)
- Sweet potatoes (mashed, boiled or baked)
- Veggie Platter leftovers with hummus or pesto
And if there’s that piece of pumpkin pie you’re just dying to have for breakfast, go ahead! Just count it as one of your opportunities for the week!
5. Concentrate on The Spirit of The Holiday (not the food)
If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to obsess… especially about food.
Thanksgiving can be a dangerous time for us. There are triggers everywhere!
Take some deep breaths, and when you’re in a calm state, actively take your focus and place it on the spirit of the holiday.
How important is this time with your family to you?
How do you feel knowing that you’re loved so much?
What does the holiday season mean to you?
What is your favorite element of the holiday season?
Concentrating on the positive, comforting aspects of the holiday can free us from the stranglehold of an over-abundance of luring trigger-foods. As tempting as binging may be at this time of the year, reminding ourselves that the holiday is about more than just stuffing ourselves can be refreshing and liberating.
The first Thanksgiving was not a binge-fest. It was a celebration of togetherness. Honor that tradition and rid yourself of the necessity to stuff your face just because it’s socially acceptable on this one day.
Remember your commitments to yourself, and just say “no” to Regretsgiving!
Wishing you and your family much health, happiness, and strength,