Thanksgiving is about more than football and fancy floats. It’s a time to get together with loved ones, appreciate the blessings bestowed upon you, and to reflect on life lessons learned. If you’re anything like us, you probably figured out last weekend that it’s pretty easy to slip into a food coma when all of these variables come together. Whether it was the third serving of apple pie that finally made you give in or grandma’s “world famous” sweet potato casserole, you now know how hard it can be to stick to a healthy eating regiment during the holidays.
Let’s face it: most of us are going to slip up at one point or another this holiday season, but the key is to not let these one day benders turn into a period of bad eating that completely derails your plan to get into the best shape possible. Here are two quick ways to get back into the saddle after surviving a holiday food binge.
1. Ride The Protein Train
Leftovers can be the holy grail of the holidays. Sure the idea of extra stuffing, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese sounds amazing, but these Carb-rich foods wreck havoc on your blood sugar and insulin level. This causes you to gain weight and store your calories as fat. The longer you indulge in these waist gaining treats, the harder it will be to eventually switch to smaller healthier meals. Chuck these, but keep your leftover protein to make quick muscle building meals and snacks in the week ahead. Turn leftover turkey into a delicious lunch sandwich by adding it to a whole grain wrap with an avocado spread or wrap pieces of cantaloupe with your leftover turkey for a delicious on the go snack. Or how about turning that turkey carcass into a protein rich soup broth? The possibilities are endless.
2. Restock Your Kitchen
The holiday season boasts an abundance of savory dishes and merry beverages. It can be extremely easy to develop some poor fitness and food habits. The more sugar you consume, the more you crave, and the harder it becomes to eat healthier. Get proactive after you dump those holiday leftovers and use this time to experiment with some seasonal produce. Find a new recipe utilizing fall favorites such as parsnips, winter squash, pumpkins, and Brussel sprouts. Make it a habit to try a new fruit or vegetable each week as an experiment to motivate your creativity and find exciting healthy food choices.