How to Stay fit During Thanksgiving
Here are three simple and easy-to-follow tips!
The holidays are a time for gift giving, merry-making, and to the detriment of your wardrobe, stuffing yourself until you can’t breathe. Okay, maybe not all of us are gluttons but most of us are according to research from the Calorie Control Council. The average person eats around 3000 calories on Thanksgiving and that’s just for dinner alone! Throw in drinks, appetizers, snacks, and other meals and that calorie count is more like 4500!
Keep in mind that a pound of pure fat contains 3500 calories worth of energy. That means in order to burn off the typical Thanksgiving Day glut, a 160-pound-man would have to have to jog 40 miles at a rate of five miles per hour! If you don’t like running, dancing for 20 hours will burn the same amount calories. Not much of a dancer? Hit the pool and swim for 10 hours and you’ll burn off those pesky calories. The point is it takes about a month’s worth of physical exertion to burn off what you can typically eat in one Thanksgiving!
Does this mean we should all start shopping for clothes two sizes bigger? Not at all. In this article, we will go over three different tips for keeping slim and eating healthy while still enjoying Thanksgiving.
1. Stay active!
Every thanksgiving, my friends and I participate in a game of football we like to call the “Turkey bowl.” What started out as a friendly game of football between friends and family has evolved into a highly competitive event where wagers are made and rivalries are born. There’s no better time to get a game of football going than during Thanksgiving when friends and family are already together.
But if football isn’t your thing, you might consider going for a relaxing walk — get away from family for a while and burn some calories while enjoying the autumn scenery. To enhance your calorie burning, you could practice deep breathing techniques. Take a deep breath by inhaling through your nose, fill your belly with air, slowly exhale through your mouth, and repeat. Deep breathing actually jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re not just stuck on the sofa all day!
2. Keep track of what you eat
Multiple studies confirm what nutritionists have long thought to be true: when you keep track of what you eat, you eat less. Keep a journal handy and write down everything you eat (and I do mean everything including snacks) for a predetermined amount of time.
It may sound a bit tedious but the information you gain from doing this will be worth your efforts. When you’re done, go to Caloriecontrol.org and use their food calorie calculator to determine how many calories you consumed. This practice will help you gain an understanding of which foods to embrace and which foods to avoid.
Bonus tip: Try increasing your water intake and see how much less you eat! Water induces satiety. In fact, our body confuses being thirsty with being hungry. Drink water and you’ll feel fuller faster!
3. Say “no” to refined sugar!
We’ve been conditioned to think obesity is caused by eating foods that are high in fat content. Indeed, studies do show certain types of fatty foods — foods with saturated fat and cholesterol — have a negative impact on the health of your arteries. However, more recent studies reveal refined sugar can do even more damage to not only your cardiovascular health but also your overall health than fat. A 2012 study found that men who drank one sugary beverage a day had a 20 percent higher chance of having a fatal heart attack than men who only occasionally drank sugary beverages.
If you’re addicted to soda like I am, giving up sugar is no easy task but it’s certainly a little easier once you realize the health risks. The scary thing about sugar-sweetened beverages is that no matter how much you drink, you will not get full — this often results in over consumption. Refined sugar is easily converted into pure body fat, leading to obesity which can further compound your health issues. That means that can of soda you drink can easily end up as fat around your belly or on your thighs.
This thanksgiving, replace sugary beverages with unsweetened tea, water, or sparkling water. But if you must have your sugary fix, try juicing fruits and vegetables (just don’t add any sugar!)
Wrapping it up
So there you have it, a simple game plan for making sure you don’t get that spare tire around your belly on Thanksgiving. Move around & stay active, keep a food diary, and avoid sugar as much as you can. The main takeaway is that you can have a great holiday without having to compromise your health. Eat, drink, be merry, and have a great Thanksgiving!
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