How to Stay Healthy This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time of year for every American. In fact, it is one of the most popular holidays among Americans because it has no religious affiliation and simply celebrates family and thankfulness — values that every American can hold dear. However, as a notorious custom among Americans, we tend to eat unhealthy. Here are some tips to staying ahead of the holiday weight gain.

     Understand the nutritional value of what your put in your body. The best way to tackle any problem is to understand it. Fighting weight gain starts by educating yourself on what you are feeding your body with and basic do’s and don’t’s. It is also equally important to know your body and what it needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since every individual has separate body goals and metabolisms, we can only give vague suggestions here. Consult your physician or nutritionist for an in-depth analysis. Firstly, look for a variety of lean proteins. When grocery shopping for yourself, search for meats, beans, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, or ground beef that are labeled as 90% lean or higher. Choosing to eat lean can make YOU lean! Here’s some additional information by the University of Michigan Health on Lean Meats. Secondly, half of your meal should be fruits and vegetables. As unlikely as it sounds, making yourself eat a healthy amount of veggies and fruits for Thanksgiving has boundless benefits. And that doesn’t just mean eating a ton of lettuce and spinach! Choosing a rainbow of colored foods (red, orange, dark green specifically) allow your body to gather nutrients from a variety of sources. The more colorful your meals, the more likely you are to enrich your body with the vitamins, minerals, and fibers it needs to be strong and healthy! Thirdly, drink water instead of soda. It may be obvious now but when Thanksgiving rolls around, it may become easy to forget amidst the festivities. Energy drinks, soda, and various sports drinks are notorious for adding in unnecessary sugars and calories into American diets. Drinking water natu*rally benefits your body by hydrating cells, assisting in digestion, and can cut calories. If water sounds unappealingly bland for you, try adding some lime, lemon, or even watermelon to your glass!

Slow Down & Eat Slow. An increasing amount of studies have proven that eating slower is physically and mentally beneficial for the body. Findings have shown that by eating slower, people consume less calories thus allowing them to lose weight more efficiently. Experts estimate that you can lose a whopping 20 pounds just by changing your eating speeds. You don’t even have to change what you eat or how much you exercise! The reason is that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’re full. If we eat fast, we can continue eating past the point where we’re full. If we eat slowly, we have time to realize we’re full, and stop on time. We still suggest eating healthier and exercising but this can be an addition to a healthier lifestyle.
Balancing High Calorie Intake with Exercise. You’re going to eat a lot for Thanksgiving and that’s a Thanksgiven. It’s expected of you. However, what you should expect for yourself is to counteract all of that food with some exercise. It should be no surprise that this is on the list. You don’t have to go hardcore CrossFit mode but some light cardio is healthy.  After eating foods that are high calorie (eggnog, gravy, processed foods) you may feel the urge to sleep it off. Here’s a tip: Ask your family and friends who have the same health goals as you BEFORE the big meal to join you on a light walk around the block for after the meal. That way, its harder to bail on yourself when people accompany you. Besides, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for people who push you to be a healthier, better, and smarter you!

Avoid that 1-3 pound permanent weight gain each holiday season that average Americans accumulate. Here is some more information on weight loss and diet management from WebMD. If you would like to relieve some of that Thanksgiving stress or would like to be healthier, check out what massages can do for you! There are many types of massages with different benefits. If you would like more information on massages or would like to order a massage on-the-go, check out the rest of FeelXtra‘s website.

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