Enjoy a Second Helping This Thanksgiving

Posted On Nov 27, 2013 By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist

how to stay healthy during the holidays

Every year when the holidays make their appearance, clients will ask me, "What should I do on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and Easter? Should I pack my own food? Is there a workout I can do at home? How do I avoid gaining any weight back or losing my gains?"

Sound familiar to you? Nine times out of ten, I answer as follows:

Take your workout plan and your meal plan for that day, crumple it up and toss it in the waste basket. Make sure you try to swish it too. It's more fun that way.

More often than not, my clients are shocked by this response. They expect that I will show them tricks on how to sneak in a workout or tell them to pack their own healthy foods so they aren't tempted to eat the deliciousness of a Thanksgiving dinner. They also expect that I might tell them to suck it up, stay focused and ignore the hard time your friends and family will give you.

Fact is, I'm actually OK with all that … as long as it works for you! But if you're like me and a juicy turkey dinner with a huge plate of sides is something that makes your mouth water and gives you sweet dreams at night, then trying to avoid it is not going to help.

Not only that, I look forward to spending time with my family and friends and enjoying a big meal, having a few beers and forgetting about exercising and eating healthy …  for a day. I don't let Thanksgiving or any other holiday turn into a week-long, month-long or lifelong splurge. When Thanksgiving is over, it's over and I get back on track. One day, no matter how bad, isn't going to obliterate my fitness as long as I get back on track right away.

Family eating together for Thanksgiving Being fit is not about being perfect 100% of the time. It's about living a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to get and/or stay healthy. Just like the path to success isn't a straight line, so is the path to health. There will be diversions. Some of those will be planned, some will not. Holidays like Thanksgiving are planned diversions.

Living a healthy lifestyle allows you the freedom to enjoy the holidays and other special events. Imagine being able to eat a full plate of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and then going back for seconds without the feelings of guilt or shame and knowing that it's not going to stop you from reaching or maintaining your fitness goals.

I don't know about you, but to me that sounds much better than always worrying about how you're going to get through the holidays.

If you stay committed to a healthy lifestyle, you can handle a massive Thanksgiving dinner with ease. It's similar to how a bonfire works. If you throw a large tree trunk (a Thanksgiving dinner) on a bonfire (a revved up metabolism) it will burn it up. However, if you don't get back on track and you keep piling up more tree trunks on your bonfire, you will eventually smother it out and you will be stuck with a bunch of trees that you will have to store (fat).

So enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Just remember, they are called holi-days and not holi-weeks or holi-months.


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