To Maintain Fitness, Healthy Eating Matters Even at Thanksgiving

Staying fit and employing the right techniques to avoid injury requires many different things to go right. And of course, when they don’t go right and physical therapy is needed, we’re here for you.

Many of the techniques are out of one’s control. However, one area that is more directly within control: Healthy eating.

Of course, there’s nothing like Thanksgiving to destroy well-made plans. To that end, we offer the following Thanksgiving insights to help. Not surprisingly, many of them focus on fitness.

From WebMD: Get Active. “Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods, suggests Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).”

“‘Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays,” Diekman says. “Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

“Make fitness a family adventure, recommends Susan Finn, PhD, RD, chair of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition: ‘Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.'”

From Huffington Post: “Exercise. Stick to your exercise routine. If your gym is closed, enjoy a brisk walk with family and friends.”

Eating Well offers different advice: How to choose what to eat at Thanksgiving. The post states: ” If you want to eat a little of everything this Thanksgiving, you should. Gratefully savoring a delicious home-prepared meal on this one holiday sounds like a healthy thing to do, to me. But if you’re wondering which, calorically speaking, are the best and worst Thanksgiving dishes to choose, I’ve got the skinny.”

Scientifically speaking, even Popular Science gets into the Thanksgiving guidance: “Begin with the turkey. This is essentially the opposite of our advice on how to begin the meal if you want to eat the most. Protein and fats are the biggest triggers for those hormones and enzymes that make you feel full, and turkey contains plenty of both (especially if you eat it doused in gravy). Starchy foods like potatoes and bread don’t have the same effect, though they do spike your insulin.”

“So if the goal is to feel full quickly, start with the bird, then move on to the taters. Better yet, eat a small, healthy snack (read: not something sugary or starchy) an hour or so before dinner to kickstart those hormones, and then move on to the gobbler.”