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It's easy to throw in the towel when it comes to the Holiday season. Avoiding all those yummy pies and starchy foods seems just impossible, not to mention if your Holiday includes alcohol. These things definitely add up in calories and can suck the life out of your workouts. But don't get down about it, instead we're going to give you some tips to keep energy levels up so that you can get some calorie blasting pleasantries in as well, and by choosing the foods we give you to fill your plate and doing it just so, you can avoid as much as the empty calories as possible during the holidays.
You want to split your plate in threes first and foremost. And not in a perfect third either because there are some things that need more consideration than others. Start by splitting your plate perfectly down the middle, half of that plate should be filled with veggies of some kind-the greener the better. Look for salads, green beens, even some corn but share that half with something like broccoli if you can find it, carrots, cauliflower and the like. Now take the other half of the plate and split it in two, one half of that half is for your Protein-Turkey, Ham, whatever you opt for in the protein department for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you don't eat meat then you need to get it in the form of cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, or beans. The rest of your plate, feel free to have some carbs-that's roughly a dinner roll or a half a cup of stuffing, you need carbs for energy after all. If you plan on sitting around instead of playing tag football with the others then don't fill the carb portion of your plate as much.
Just remember about everything you put on your plate is most likely going to be over 100 calories, unless it's veggies. If you have seven different things on your plate or more, you're looking at 700-1000 calories + and that will have to be worked off with over an hour of Football in the backyard (Interval training), go for seconds or thirds, and most people can pack anywhere from 2,000-4,500 calories in a Thanksgiving dinner. And you wonder why all the pounds when it was just one day?
We know you plan of having pie, and we don't expect you to skip it. Try to wait a good half hour for your other food to digest and then go for a slice that has fewer calories. I've listed pies below in order of worst to best. No matter which pie you choose you can avoid that sugar rush and crash by adding some nuts to it, the nuts have free fatty acids which help keep blood sugar levels even and that means more prolonged energy.
Don't over eat if you can help it and limit your alcohol intake-sip it. Just try and remember that you can truly make this food any time of the year, you don't have to cram it all in one day. Trickle feed the body and spread out your snacking so that you don't stretch the stomach and overdo it. Get out and play some football, volleyball, Kickball, even watch a funny movie to burn some calories that way, and do some squats, or drop and do some push ups, crunches-whatever you prefer, in between meals.
Worst to Best Thanksgiving Pie and Desert List:
Add some nuts or any other kind of protein handy to even out blood sugars when eating your pie for longer lasting energy, drink plenty of water, and don't forget to get out and move!
Editor: Emma Daley
Everyone should have a go to salad, or a few that they love for when you are in a rush for something fast, and you want something yummy. The yummy part is important for me.
I threw this salad together one day when I was just in the above situation, and was so happy with the outcome it's at the top of my list.
The recipe is simple: Spinach leaves, craisins, and blue cheese with olive oil drizzled over top. So simple, it'll make you stop and think before rushing for fast food.
If you're not a fan of Spinach, the nice thing is that you really can swap this out for any other type of lettuce and it's delicious. I don't think too much about how much of each ingredient to add. This really is a low fat salad, it's vegetarian, not that it needs to be, you can add some chicken and it will be just as yummy. But the olive oil is an essential fatty acid and helps you stay fuller longer, it also doesn't interfere with the flavors of the blue cheese and cranberries. The blue cheese, while yummy, also helps give necessary protein and some fat for prolonged energy. The dried cranberries give great energy and are rich in antioxidants along with the Spinach. The best part about this salad is that it gives you great energy, doesn't make you feel too full or not full enough. I recommend making the salad as big as you need, and enjoy totally guilt free!
Editor: Emma Daley