You and I both know that if I tell you to eat healthy next week at Thanksgiving dinner that it’s going to go in one ear and out the other.

We all start with great intentions.  Telling ourselves that we’re only going to do one lap around the buffet table.  Then we beat ourselves up afterward thinking “ugh, I shouldn’t have had TWO pieces of pie.”

But it’s mom’s famous blueberry pie!

And then there’s pumpkin pie and how can you pass that up…it is a Thanksgiving tradition after all!

Yep, I’m with you (picture Robert DeNiro doing the “I’m watching you” at Ben Stiller)…

Well, I’m here to tell you there’s a way to have your pie and eat it too!  But you have to start preparing NOW!  

Life Happens

Fact.  A feast is coming.  There’s a 99.9% chance you’re going to overeat and consume a ridiculous amount of calories.

Life is for enjoying and what better way than spending the day with those you love and expressing gratitude for all you have.  There’s nothing to beat yourself up about over that.

The issue is that it’s over a meal so decadent with all the trimmings and everything you love.  You more than likely don’t eat these items throughout the year.  You should enjoy yourself!

Luckily, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the chance of any weight gain.

Eating Between Now and Then

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do.  Don’t get crazy and cut out a bunch of calories on the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  All that’s going to do is slow down your metabolism and then when you do overindulge, your body is going to hang on to every one of those calories since you’ve been starving yourself.

Reduce your overall calories somewhat each day for the next week.  Choose your meals wisely.

Increase your protein intake and reduce your carbs.  This will satisfy you longer and allow you to handle having less calories.  By reducing your carb intake, it will help reduce your cravings.  If you do crave something, whether sweet or salty, push through it knowing that you’re not depriving yourself in any way.

You’re just saving up for the Big Day.

Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Before Meals

Drink apple cider vinegar before meals and especially on Thanksgiving day!  There are many weight loss claims with ACV; however, I have not seen that for me personally.  I do like the way it makes me feel.

The acid in the ACV will help you absorb any iron in your food (citrus does as well!).  Iron absorption then translates into energy.

ACV blocks some absorption of starch.  The excess starch will help increase the good bacteria in your intestines.  More and more research is showing that our overall health ties back to the health of our intestinal tract.

In layman terms…REDUCED BLOAT!  And who doesn’t love that?!

Be sure to mix it with some water so you don’t damage your tooth enamel.  I drink mine with a straw for a little added insurance.

Keep Moving!

Add in some exercise over the next week.  You’re probably going to be busy running errands, grocery shopping, meal planning, entertaining family, and that’s ok.

Squeeze in a little extra calorie burn by parking at the back of the parking lot.  Do an extra lap around the grocery store.  Walk to the mailbox instead of driving up to it.  Take the stairs.  Catch up with your relatives over a walk around the block.

It’s time to stop thinking that you have to do 2 hours in the gym to get any progress.  These added 10 minute bursts of extra calorie burn add up.  It can also help to speed up your metabolism.

Many gyms are open the morning of Thanksgiving, so you have that option as well for a little exercise and time to yourself before the chaos of a family gathering.

Take Control AFTER Thanksgiving

Limit leftovers.  You had your fun and enjoyed your indulgence.  Make sure not to turn it into a WEEK LONG indulgence!

If you are hosting, be sure to send everyone home with leftovers.  If you’re not (lucky you!), limit how much leftovers you take home with you.

Try to spread those leftovers out over many meals and match them with a healthy option, like a chicken breast or put on a salad.

Just Another Cheat Day…

There is some debate in the health industry as to the benefits of having a high calorie meal/day.  Leptin is the hormone that helps maintain energy and improve weight loss.  Leptin levels are reduced while following a low calorie meal plan.  Many studies show that this spike in calories will boost leptin production.  Here’s an article from Greatist that explains the benefits of cheat days in greater detail.

We need to ensure that the days leading up to Thanksgiving and those immediately after are healthier and leaner, so that Thanksgiving Day itself is the “cheat day”.

My motto:  I do more things right than I do wrong. This leads to an overall healthy lifestyle!  Click to Tweet!

Take Action Now

Think about your week ahead and plan out where you can add in some extra exercise, map out some healthy meal options, and be sure to add apple cider vinegar to your grocery list!  And get your family on board!

Tell me in the comments below how you’re going to be creative this Thanksgiving to make sure you don’t put on any extra pounds!

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