It is Thanksgiving week and kids are out of school, family is coming over, and all routines are thrown out of whack. Don’t let these things become excuses for slacking off from your usual healthy choices and mental well-being, though.
The average American adult gains between eight to ten pounds in November and December. Don’t become one of them! Keeping up with your regular workouts, even if those usually come in the walk to and from school with your kids, will help you make it through. Take that walk anyways, with or without your kids. Stick to your gym schedule or shift the time of day you go to fit in with the holiday festivities. Working out a little extra in the days leading up to Thanksgiving dinner and even taking a walk after that big meal can help burn off those calories you’ll inevitably wind up consuming.
And speaking of consuming calories, here are a few tips on how to reduce those at Thanksgiving dinner. First, use a smaller plate. Sure, those mashed potatoes smell delicious and that stuffing is calling your name, so put them on your dish and enjoy. Then, once you’re done eating that serving, drink a big glass of water and wait at least 10 minutes before you decide if you want to go back for seconds. If you’re doing some of the cooking, try using applesauce for oil when baking, use non-fat dairy products and sugar substitutes, and serve a salad instead of creamed vegetable.
Sleep experts recommend waking up at the same time each day, including weekends and holidays, to stay on an optimal sleep schedule. Most of us get run down during the holiday season, so getting a good night’s rest is essential to helping us deal with the holiday stresses and fend off any germs. Even if you stay up late enjoying visiting with relatives, get up at your usual time the next day. You might be a little tired, but you will get back on track much quicker and feel better for the remainder of the holiday week.
Take a few moments of mindfulness during the upcoming weeks and think about what you are thankful for, count your blessings and pay it forward. Remember to forgive yourself if you get a little off track this week, there’s always tomorrow to get back on!