Thanksgiving Day! This is one of my favorite holidays because of the 3 Fs: Family, Football, and Food. Given the great tasting foods available, there is nothing more frustrating than attempting to diet on such a festive day.
However, gaining excessive weight during this time can be equally frustrating. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes over 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat during Thanksgiving dinner. As a reference point, a pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories. No wonder we feel more stuffed than the turkey following Thanksgiving.
Instead of dieting on Thanksgiving Day, prepare for it. Here are 7 tips on how to prepare for Thanksgiving to reduce your risk of excessive weight gain.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep the night before: Inadequate sleep can lower leptin (hormone that controls feeling of fullness) and increase ghrelin (hormone that controls feeling of hunger). Lower leptin and higher ghrelin hormone levels can contribute to overeating. Some research also has shown that a lack of adequate sleep may cause you to eat more foods that are high in calories, carbs and fats the following day.
Eat breakfast: I know. Some of us skip earlier meals so we can fully indulge during the Thanksgiving meal. However, skipping meals will slow your metabolism, cause your body to store fat and may contribute to overindulgence when it’s time to sit at the Thanksgiving table. Eat breakfast. Go with a high fiber meal such as steel cut oatmeal. You also can add quinoa (a good source of protein and fiber), a tablespoon of peanut butter (a good source of protein), and fruit (berries, banana, etc.). The fiber and protein will keep you satiated heading into your holiday meal. If your Thanksgiving meal is later in the evening, have a healthy lunch as well. Bottom line: Don’t approach the Thanksgiving table on an empty stomach.
Be active before your holiday meal: This will assist in revving up your calorie-burning metabolism just before eating. Do 15 minutes of moderately paced cardio just before your meal. That includes walking, jogging, bike riding or jumping rope. Alternatively, you can mix it up: 5-minute walk or jog, 5-minute bike ride, 5-minutes of jumping rope.
Drink water before meal: Drink 16 ounces of water just before the meal. This can trick your body into feeling full and may limit overeating.
Eat slowly: This can assist you in feeling full faster and may reduce the risk of overeating. Take your time. Relish every bite. Cherish every moment. Halfway through the meal, put your utensil down for a few seconds, then pick it up and resume eating. After the meal (and/or dessert) take a 20-minute after-meal break before going for that second serving. This break may allow your stomach enough time to communicate to your brain that you are full.
Participate in fun family activity after meal: Have an activity that gets the entire family involved. One of my favorites is WII’s “Michael Jackson, The Experience” video game. You can burn a lot of calories dancing to “Beat it” and “Thriller”. Yes, I still know all the moves to “Beat it” and “Thriller”!
Hand out leftovers: Leaving extra pies, cakes and other food in your fridge following Thanksgiving may result in temptation and weight gain. Offer left overs to guests. Alternatively, you may be able to contribute your left overs to not-for-profit organizations who can use the extra meals.
So, prepare yourself for Thanksgiving. During this food-focused holiday, not gaining weight can be just as important as losing it.
Have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!
See additional tips on how to improve sleep, and other nutritional and fitness advice, in my book, Body Under Construction.
By Sloan Luckie, BDO Fitness Expert
Sloan Luckie, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Public Accountant, is the author of the optimal health workbook, Body Under Construction. Body Under Construction shows how to use nutrition, exercise and sleep to build the body of your dreams, reduce your risk to chronic illness and look and feel your absolute best.
His unique philosophy on building and maintaining optimal health has garnered significant media attention. Sloan has appeared on NBC’s “The Talk” with Marion Brooks, NY1 News with Cheryl Wills, graced the pages of Syd Jerome magazine, and conducted nutrition and fitness demonstrations for corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and various other groups throughout the United States.
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100 Reasons Why I Can't Stop Looking At Blue Ivy
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2. Blue. #May10 #NYC
3. Blue Ivy & Jay Z Sip Tea
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4. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Smell The Roses
Beyonce seems like the coolest mom.
5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
6. Blue Ivy & Mommy
7. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
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Beyonce in these heels though?!
11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
14. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
15. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
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20. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
22. Blue On The Big Screen
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23. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
24. Jump Around
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25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
32. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
33. Blue Ivy
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34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
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The family was seen out and about.
36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
37. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
38. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
40. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
44. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
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49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
52. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
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69. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
70. Blue's Big B-Day
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71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
72. Kisses From Mommy
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73. Talk To The Hand!
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While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
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"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
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77. Don't Mess With Blue!
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Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
79. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
80. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
82. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
84. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
86. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
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"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
88. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
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91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
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"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
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96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
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"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
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