Be Thankful for Your Body and Avoid the Thanksgiving Bloat
Between picking your grandma up from the airport, babysitting your nieces and nephews, setting up the table, and heading down to the supermarket for a last-minute cranberry sauce run, you’re bound to have little time to exercise around Thanksgiving. Not only that, but you’ll be surrounded by food that would send any dietitian running. Be thankful for your body this Thanksgiving and do it some good. Don’t be a turkey. Sorry, it was too easy.
It can be tempting to go at the bounty of food you’re presented with like a starving Pilgrim, but certainly not the wisest decision. You don’t eat huge meals in everyday life (do you?) and the same applies with Thanksgiving.
Sure, Uncle Buck across the table has managed to stuff a forkful of turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, and stuffing into his mouth at once, but that’s what makes him Uncle Buck. You too can enjoy everything on the table if you space out your meals. Eat some turkey and mashed potatoes one sitting. Come back a few hours later and try the stuffing. A couple hours later you can try some cranberry sauce and a little more turkey. Your sanity’s sure to take a beating at Thanksgiving dinner, so why not give your body a break.
While the rest of the guys are on the couch watching football, help out mom and Aunt Helen in the kitchen. Not only does it make you look like an upstanding relative for helping out, but by preparing your own food, you can eat healthy amidst the fat and carb onslaught taking place. Prepare some grilled turkey, steamed veggies, and/or low-fat desserts. Feel free to pass some of your creations around the table, but be careful not to mention how “healthy” it is. That’s a surefire way to upset your relatives and lead to an argument where you’re too labeled as too “body-conscious.” Trust me. Been there.
More likely than not, you’re going to have zero chance of hitting up the gym on or around Thanksgiving. Most gyms are closed Thanksgiving Day and some even on Wednesday and Friday. That doesn’t mean you can’t get some kind of workout in. Want to keep up on the cardio? Get up before the crack of dawn, put on your sweats, tiptoe around Aunt Edna and go for a run. Got a bunch of cousins to babysit? Play an impromptu game of football. You’re sure to get a good workout in chasing pie and soda-fueled kids around your backyard. Or maybe you can work in some pushups and crunches when everybody’s conked out post-dinner. You should be awake and energized if you followed the above advice.
Eat smart and stay semi-mobile and you just might avoid the Thanksgiving bloat. Resist the urge to eat all of Grandma’s pumpkin pie – I know, it’s hard – and you’ll be back at the gym in tip-top shape. That’s something to be thankful for.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.