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Nov
20

Four Ways to Navigate Thanksgiving Healthfully

Visit Tara's website at www.taracoleman.com

Tara Coleman www.taracoleman.com

Healthy nibbles from Clinical Nutritionist Tara Coleman

I can’t believe it’s the holiday season once again! It seems like just yesterday I was writing a blog post about this topic. This year, I have some tip for you to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without paying for it through 2012!

Consider making exercise a pre-Thanksgiving tradition. Burning calories before diving into your Thanksgiving meal will not only create a calorie deficit for the day, but it will also make you feel healthier and less prone to overindulging. The winning combination for weight loss is simple: eat less and exercise more! Make an effort to get on your Total Gym for 20 to 30 minutes to burn some calories before your Thanksgiving feast. Check out Total Gym Exercises for on-demand, trainer-led workout videos to spice up your routine!

Eat breakfast. The idea of eating less to save on calories before Thanksgiving can backfire on you. You’ll be ravenous by the time Thanksgiving rolls around and likely to shove anything that you see in your face! Eating a small meal in the morning will help control your appetite so you’re less prone to eat in excess later – and more likely to make smarter food choices at Thanksgiving. Make a healthy breakfast that includes protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. A sample breakfast may be an egg on whole wheat toast or a bowl of fiber-rich, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.

Don’t be afraid of seconds … or thirds. The typical plate full of Thanksgiving food is one of the most impressive balancing acts known to man (as in balancing to keep it all on the plate)! This year, start with a small plate with small portions. When you are done, if you are still hungry go back for more. I promise the food will still be there! You will find that both the act of going back and not having to be pressured by the “clean plate club” will help you cut down on your portions without even noticing.

Mix in some fresh veggies. Most of the vegetables on Thanksgiving are in casserole form or hidden under heavy sauces. This year, make your favorite green bean casserole but also sauté some fresh green beans. Take a smaller amount of both. You will get your casserole fix but also benefit from the nutritional benefits of eating fresher veggies! 

Remember, Thanksgiving is just ONE day. It does not start on Wednesday night and end on Monday morning, and it certainly does not last until January 1st! Your body knows how to handle a single overindulgence but your body cannot handle it when overindulgence turns into days and even months. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your friends and family and then get back to the way of eating that makes you the healthiest and happiest!

Remember to listen to your body. If your stomach is saying it can’t take anymore, it’s best to stop while you’re ahead. You will feel better for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave us your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at tara@taracoleman.com.

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