Don’t worry this isn’t one of those blog posts on why you should fill your plate up with protein and veggies and skip the pie and wine. Nope, contradictory to what you have read posted on most other health blogs about this topic, I’m going to go ahead and say eat whatever you choose to eat on Thanksgiving. Not even stopping there... Eat as much as you want to eat on Thanksgiving too. If you’re lucky enough to have a grandma that bakes apple pie and pumpkin pie from scratch, you better try them both. Listen, I have been working in the fitness industry for over 23 years and in the nutrition space for over 14 years. I can promise you that one meal or one day of eating will NOT ruin all your hard work or sabotage your goals. These articles that float around during the holiday season really get under my skin because they get everyone all worked up trying to make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower and doing burpees as punishment to burn off extra calories. Weight loss and health doesn’t really work like that at all though. It's about consistency over time and consciously choosing what you will or will not do. What you do on the few holidays each year will not have a negative impact on your overall results. It's what you do EVERY SINGLE day that matters more. Unless you are having Thanksgiving every day for the next month, it's not an issue at all. SO WHY put all this shame, anxiety and guilt around food on the only day that food should be the very last thing we are thinking about? How about we walk into this holiday season empowered instead. It’s possible by changing one thought in your mind, repeat after me; what I do most days matters more than what I do occasionally during holidays. This year how about you focus on everything you have to be grateful for instead, be with your family, don’t count calories or macros, tell your grandma how much you LOVE her pies, then eat all the slices to prove it, drink wine if you want to, celebrate life now. Then on Friday when you wake up, get back to your healthy habits without one ounce of guilt. Food does not have any power over you, its what you think about the food that has power. The best news is that you get to choose how you want to think about it. SO this year try on the thought that one day of eating what you want will not have any damage on your health goals this year. There is no “wagon” to fall off of, this is life and your life is a cumulation of small decisions made over time.
Here are 5 tips to add to your daily routine for a healthier life, yes you can still do all these on Thanksgiving too, but you don’t have to if you choose not to:
- Move your body. Not as punishment for mashed potatoes, but as a celebration of what you can do. You’ll feel better, get stronger and be less stressed.
- Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. When you are hydrated your body can function at optimal levels.
- Plan for all off plan eating (eating whatever you want) to be on one day, every once in a while. Once a week or once a month based on your current goals. And plan what it is you are going to eat.
- Eat a breakfast high in protein, not just caffeine and carbs. Eggs whites and protein smoothie shakes are a great way to do this if you’re tight on time in the morning.
- Don’t skip meals. Eating protein, carbs and healthy fats every 2-3 hours will keep your body fueled right, your energy high and your cravings down.
- Coach Shanna Marie