Halloween is officially over (thank goodness…) which means that we can finally move onto probably the most important holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. I mean it’s the holiday that lets you eat all day. What’s better than that?! Other than Christmas and probably your birthday, Thanksgiving is the holiday that keeps on giving (food to my stomach).
If you’re anything like me then you love to eat. Thanksgiving provides everyone the opportunity to eat whatever they want, whatever amount they want, whenever they want, and then sleep it all off afterward without feeling guilty (I know I certainly don’t)…but for those few of you who actually do feel guilty (you really shouldn’t), here are a few tips and tricks to get through the holiday.
We’ll cover three main topics you can use on your own to start preparing yourself for the greatest holiday of the year:
- Pick healthy alternatives
- Portion control.
Let’s first talk about exercise. Exercise is extremely vital to living a healthy lifestyle. You should already be exercising regularly as it is but if you’re not, definitely start as soon as you can. A common misconception is that you have to kill yourself while exercising in order to get result. While for some this may be true, you need to do what is best for yourself. If you can’t run a mile, it isn’t a big deal. Walk a mile instead. Do what you can do but make sure that you’re doing something.
One of my favorite exercises that you can do is “five-minute abs.” There are a couple of ways you can do this: five abs exercises for one minute each; 10 abs exercises for 30 seconds each; one abs exercise for five minutes. I don’t recommend the last one because you’ll only be targeting one area of your stomach; you want to get the most possible out of your five-minute abs. I recommend doing five abs exercises at a minute each. The pictures below indicate which exercises I like to do the most for my five-minute abs.
Once you’ve gotten exercising down, you need to make sure that you’re eating to support what you’re working off. If you go to the gym for an hour and then go eat a cheeseburger, chances are that you just canceled out your workout. I may do this on the reg but it’s because I love cheeseburgers too much to say no….and I also workout multiple times a day…so it’s fine.
Getting back to my point, it’s important to make sure that you’re not eating poorly. This brings us to some healthy alternatives. There are certain things you can eat that taste the same but are actually better for you. My favorite example is eggs verse egg whites. Egg whites have about 100 less calories than regular eggs and hardly any cholesterol at all. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had an egg white omelet this week because the number is actually embarrassing. Here’s a little hint, I’ve had them for dinner…
If you’re nervous about not feeling full, don’t be. Add things into your omelet. I like to add vegetables: mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach. I also like to add cheese. I switch between mozzarella and the cheese that you put on your tacos (you know what I’m talking about…four cheese Mexican or something…I forget what it’s called, but it’s delicious). Salt and pepper are a staple in my omelets.
A great example of a healthy alternative for Thanksgiving is sweet potatoes verses regular potatoes. I’m not personally an advocate for sweet potatoes, I actually hate them, but they have much more nutrient-rich centers verses the traditional potato (which I do love).
It’s extremely easy to find healthy alternatives for pretty much all food. You can normally just Google what you’re trying to replace (I Google basically everything) or there are also plenty of books on it as well. Personally, I like the “Cook This not That” books.
Okay, let’s move onto portion control. It’s extremely easy to over-eat on Thanksgiving. I do it every year (no regrets). But again, for those of who are concerned, there are a couple of ways to prevent this:
1. Drink a lot of water. Water always fills you up. Add a lemon or lime to your water for a little extra kick, too.
- Eat slowly. Your food will still be there in five minutes, don’t worry. It’ll also be there tomorrow when you have those awesome leftovers. Fun fact: the more slowly that you eat, the faster you’ll burn off the calories you’re eating…so if you eat more slowly, you’ll actually be able to eat longer.
- Try to get three different food groups onto your plate: Turkey can be your protein; green beans can be your vegetable; and sweet potatoes can be your carbohydrates.
I hope this helped!
As promised, here are the five-minute abs exercises I like to make sure that I’m targeting my entire stomach.
I’m 100% apologizing now for the fact that I can’t keep a straight face in any of these and I just look straight-up silly (I’ve never taken pictures of myself while working out before so it was a new experience). Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at, amiright?
And before you ask, yes, those are boxing bags/a boxing cage behind me. Boxing is my primary workout (I also do weight training and cardio but that’s for another blog post).
What I’m wearing:
- LuLuLemon Crop Pants: http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/crops-run/Run-Inspire-Crop-II-Blockit-Pocket?cc=0001&skuId=3494506&catId=crops-run
- LuLuLemon Racer Tank: http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/tanks-no-support/Refresh-Racer-Tank?cc=15443&skuId=3570379&catId=tanks-no-support
1. Thai Sit-ups
I love this one…because it requires me to lay down.
Start with your entire body stretched out on the floor. It’s just like a crunch but you keep your legs flat on the floor. Crunch as far up as you can. You’re basically trying to touch your toes.
2. Russian Twists.
Start in the middle and then move from side to side. Make sure that you’re touching the ground on each side to really get the full effect. Also, keep your legs up in the air; do not cross them.
3. African Sit-Ups.
I have no idea why they’re called african sit-ups but they’re awesome and I love them. They hurt but they hurt so good.
This exercise is three movements in one. So today, 3=1.
Crunch up first with your left leg; then crunch with your right leg; then crunch with them both.
That’s one rep. So if you want to do 10 african sit-ups, you’re actually doing 30 movements.
Everyone knows and loves (hates…?) the plank. It’s difficult but it really is one of the best things you can do.
This is a standard front plank but I also like to add an additional :30 seconds on both my right and left sides. You obviously don’t have to do that.
Keep your body flat, do not arch your back, and keep your stomach in.
5. Rub your shins
Quick appearance from my double chin hayyy (insert peace sign emoji).
Anyway, start with your back on the floor and your legs up at a 90 degree angle.
Crunch up, rubbing your shins.
Do you see where the name came from…?
All photo cred goes out to my FMPFL (focus mit partner for life): Mel
Okay, I know this was a seriously long post and I really appreciate you guys putting up with all the nonsense I just threw at you.
I hope this helps you prep for Thanksgiving. If it does or if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, don’t be afraid to contact me!
P.S. they should really get emojis on computers.