The holidays are here! So how are you honestly feeling FitGirl? Are you dreading this calorie-heavy celebration or are you counting down the days until you can undo your top bottom with glee? Well no matter what your attitude about this day of gratitude may be, I have some news you can truly be grateful for: you can have it all this Thanksgiving! The gratitude without the attitude, and the grub without the guilt. Here’s how:
1. Sit Up And Pay Attention
Did you know that slouching can cause you to overeat? NY Orthopedic Surgeon and author of “Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine,” Dr. Kenneth Hansraj suggests focusing on holding your posture the entire time during dinner time. Proper digestion only occurs when we are sitting up straight. Dr. Hansraj says, “If you’re slouched over your plate, food cannot travel to the stomach in time for your body to tell your brain it’s getting full; it can take twice as long; thus causing you to eat twice as much leaving you full and tired.”
2. Double Up When You Gobble Up
According to Pando Health Group’s founders Mark and Kim Chartrand, a great way to indulge without the bulge is to “start the party with protein-based foods.” This will help lower your insulin response and will ultimately keep your blood sugar levels stable. So before you start planning your second helping of grandma’s mac and cheese gobble up with one more helping of turkey sis.
3. Going Small Is A Good Call
“Small bites and small breaks will allow you to enjoy a steady-paced meal without needing to slow down or stop eating entirely,” says Dr. Hansraj. Take small bites of the highly caloric sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing and cheesy casseroles, but load up your fork with turkey and string beans. Also, take a 5 minute break between each helping to allow your stomach to catch up with your eyes. On average it takes between 12-14 minutes for our bodies to recognize we’re full. So before you head back to the kitchen to pile up for seconds crack a few jokes or ask “Cousin-So-And-So” how she’s doing.
Who doesn’t love a bubbly cocktail during Thanksgiving? However getting in the spirit with too many spirits can harm your heart says the Chartrand duo. Drinking excessively can cause “holiday heart syndrome” an irregular heartbeat in otherwise healthy people. So just like you work those intervals in the gym, do the same thing at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. Have an adult bubbly drink followed by a virgin sparkling water with a squeeze of fruit in a stemmed glass. Cheers!
Exercise While You Eat
That’s right! Flex your muscles and lift those forks girl. Ok, I’m kidding. Get your momma’s good silver out the air and discreetly bend and twist instead. Dr. Hansraj suggests taking a break in between bites to do “Mini Chair Exercises.”
These bends and twists will help you keep your blood pumping and metabolism working. Bending to the right or left (as if you were picking up a fork you dropped) and sideways twists (like you’re greeting a guest behind you) are two small, but effective ways to help your body digest. Who knows, all that flippin’ and dippin’ may lead to a family dance party post dinner. Fun fun fun!
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!