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5 Ways to Avoid the Thanksgiving Hangover

It’s the beginning of the holiday feasting season and while we still have a little bit to go before Christmas, Thanksgiving starts us off with a bang. When there is so much delicious food around, so much family to see, and so many scheduled activities, it becomes all to easy to ruin the positive streak of exercise and diet you’ve built running up to November 24th. Here are a few ways to stay a little on the healthier side of things while still enjoying your family feast.

    Getting the obvious one out of the way, try to exercise a tiny iota of restraint. Now, that doesn’t mean eat nothing. It simply means that you want the portion sizes of to somewhat resemble the size of your plate for a normal dinner relative to how you’re used to eating the T-Day Feast. Thanksgiving dinner can be considered something of a “cheat meal” so feel free to have some cranberry sauce, gravy, slices of pumpkin pie, etc. Just keep the amount you’re putting on your plate in the back of your head.
    While we’re on the subject of food, you’ll want to try to keep your food group ratios similar as well, if not skewed in a certain direction: protein. Having a little more protein on your plate than usual can help you feel a little “fuller”, warding off any notion of going up for a third plate.
    Finally, one that’s not about compromising on quantity. This point pertains mostly to carbohydrates. Consider substituting some more complex carbs for the ones with the higher glycemic index. A good example of this would be taking a scoop of brown rice instead of white rice. This will help reduce the amount of carbohydrates you store as fat when you inevitably overeat. Remember, it’s all about blunting the negative effects rather than removing enjoyment from the holiday altogether.
    We sometimes forget that beverages, particularly alcoholic ones, contain empty calories. Make some smarter choices by switching to light beer for the day or mixing your drink with a diet soda instead of the full-calorie version. On top of reducing your caloric intake for the day, it just might help you to feel a little less bloated!
    Most of us are going to sit on the couch watching football. That’s just a fact. However, try to get up and move around. Go for a walk or light jog in the morning. If you get drafted for the touch football game, say “yes” and burn some calories. Staying active over the break will help cover your tracks when you forget the first 3 bullet points.
Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Author: Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Aaron Runner is the Owner of Full-Stride Performance in Roswell, GA and a former NCAA Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS View All

Aaron Runner is the Owner of Full-Stride Performance in Roswell, GA and a former NCAA Strength & Conditioning Coach.

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