The Day After and Beyond

Woo-hoo!!! The day after Thanksgiving and time to pay the piper. I’m sure I’m not the only person that ate a wee bit too much yesterday. Hey that’s how we celebrate the holidays and I feel blessed that we had an abundance to spare and to share. But back to the business at hand; which would be getting back on track.

Holiday indulgences are OK and expected, the challenge is to not let a one day indulgence turn into a week’s worth. Christmas is less than a month away and each day brings more temptation, so let’s put the brakes on it now. Tis the season to be jolly, not lazy. Try the following three suggestions to burn more calories and keep you in the fitness mindset.

Get in at least 10-15 minutes of extra cardio each workout.
Add an extra workout for the next couple of weeks.
Ramp up your resistance training.

If the bloat and overstuffed feelings of today are too much to handle, here‘s how you can ward off those feelings the day after Christmas.

You can always revamp your traditional recipes to reduce the calorie, fat and carb content. If you choose not to modify the recipes, fix them as usual and watch your portion sizes. Include lots of fibrous fruits and vegetables, the more colorful the better. Lose the “one more little bite won’t hurt mantra“. Little bites add up to pounds and inches gained. Practice mindful eating. Remember the old school rules about putting your fork down between bites? It really does slow down the eating process. Here’s a few more survival tips:

Is it worth the guilt and bloat that will come later if you eat all of the desserts on the buffet? Pick one, or two at most and call it a day. If Aunt Thelma only makes her triple chocolate cheesecake once a year and it’s your fave, have it.

Don’t arrive at the big dinner, starving. Stoke your metabolism and fend off the feeding frenzy with a mini meal. Low-fat yogurt with fruit and a scant handful of almonds, or a piece of fruit with string cheese. Banking calories for later often backfires.

Try to get in some cardio activity, if only for 10-15 minutes. It helps to keep you in the fitness mindset.

Holidays don’t always bring out the best in us and when families gather there’s always the possibility of stress, tension, and old wounds being opened. These conditions can be triggers for emotional eating. Accept that these people no matter how kooky they may seem are your family and the holiday doesn’t last forever. If someone is being exceptionally rude and critical, realize that it’s them with the problem not you. And this too shall pass.

This brings me to the point about alcohol. Sometimes you feel you need a drink or two to deal with those crazy relatives. Alcohol relaxes your body and your judgment. With a couple of stiff drinks under your belt it’s easy to sit down in front of Aunt Thelma’s cheesecake and forget just how much you’ve eaten. One glass of heart healthy red wine won’t hurt though.

Remember what the day is all about, being thankful. Count your blessings, express gratitude for the wonderful meal and being able to come together with your family. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the day. Take care be well and have a peaceful holiday.

Here’s a Little Extra Food for Thought:
It only takes 100 extra calories per day to gain ten pounds in a year… That’s thirty pounds in only three years.


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