With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we wanted to send out a quick reminder on how you can truly enjoy this holiday without any guilt for having a slice or two of your favorite pie or Karen’s kickasserole.
The important thing to remember is that Thanksgiving is just one day of the year. It does not have to be one day that then spirals into an entire week of track from your diet or your training. In the circumstance that you are not in contest prep, having one or two meals untracked isn’t going to just throw your hard-earned physique out the door. Afterall, while the holiday is central to a meal, it doesn’t have to be all about the meal. Thanksgiving is for gathering with family and friends, being thankful for everything you do have (including your healthy and able body) and making memories with loved ones. Don’t waste this one holiday stressing out over how many calories over your normal intake you might be, or how many cookies you may or may not have. Let the memory of the holiday be about the people you are with, and not the calories you consume.
Now that we have taken to focus on food out of the picture and readjusted our perspective on what’s actually important this holiday season, let’s lay down some general guidelines to help you enjoy the holiday without spiraling into a week of guilt.
Don’t starve yourself going into the Thanksgiving meal
While we understand the logic behind this (less calories earlier means more calories later!), it often doesn’t end well. How many times have you underrate earlier just to be ravenously hungry and then eat everything in sight? You’re not alone, we’ve all done that! Knowing this, don’t starve yourself all day going into the Thanksgiving meal as it might lead you to ironically overconsuming calories.
If you know you are going to throw down on some cornbread later on, we recommend keeping breakfast and lunch central to a serving of protein, with a light side of low glycemic carbs such as vegetables or berries. 1st Phorm’s Phormula-1 and Level-1 are great protein sources that can help you conveniently get int your protein without any prep or clean up.
If you can train before your Thanksgiving meal, we recommend adding in some HIIT style training or making sure you are hitting the weights hard if you have access to a gym. Training hard and depleting those glycogen stores will leave you nice and insulin sensitive to use those carbs for energy and recovery later on! If you can’t train before, that’s no big deal either – your metabolism doesn’t have an expiration date. Training later on, or the next day or two will tap into that Thanksgiving fuel as well. No gym? No problem! Simply doing some sprints up the road, a body weight MetCon Monday circuit, or going for a long walk before or after dinner with your friends and family is an easy way to make sure you are putting that fuel to use and may help with digestion as well!
Leave guilt at the door and just enjoy the meal
Here’s why trying to be too restrictive at Thanksgiving may actually be a way to set you up for failure later on: By not letting yourself truly enjoy the foods you want to at that time, you might have “restrictor’s remorse” later on. Don’t look that up in the dictionary, but we all know what that means. You denied eating the food you truly wanted only to then overeat that same food (or something not even as good!) in far greater quantities later.
You might find yourself trying to fulfill that craving the next day, and the next, all the way into next week, going way more off plan than you would have should you just have let yourself enjoy the meal on Thanksgiving Day. This point also loops back into what we said at the beginning that Thanksgiving isn’t about your diet, the number on the scale the next day, or your waist size. It’s about gathering with people you love and doing so with gratitude!
Be smart and don’t eat like an asshole
Thanksgiving is generally an easy holiday to make healthy decisions on because traditionally there will be a protein source (turkey), a carb source (potatoes), and some vegetables. We recommend going for a good serving of protein and micros first, then going for Karen’s kickasserole and a slice of cornbread. What would not be a good decision here would be going straight for stuffing or just eating 10 slices of pie with a small side of turkey and 1 green bean. As always, be smart and don’t eat like an asshole. However, if you are a Team LoCoFitarian, then you know at least a glass wine is generally encouraged. #Health