Some research suggests that the average American gains 5lbs from Thanksgiving to New Years, while others claim a more accurate estimate is closer to 1-3lbs. I can’t speak for anyone else but stepping on a scale and seeing the number go up instead of down is bad news in ANY amount! Several people have asked me how I handle my healthy lifestyle during the holidays. I can’t say it has been easy, but last year, from November-January I actually LOST 18lbs! So since Thanksgiving is upon us I thought I’d share some of the things I did to keep the numbers going down last Thanksgiving.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
Contrary to popular belief, starving yourself all day to save the calories actually works against you. By the time you sit down to your “feast” you are ravenous and will end up eating more than if you started your day by revving your engine with a healthy breakfast. Go for a meal that includes a mix of whole grains & protein. It doesn’t have to be big, but you want to get your motor running.
2. Start out your day with a good workout
I know. I know. Who wants to exercise on Thanksgiving? Well I can promise you this, if you make the sacrifice early on, you’ll reap vast rewards! It’ll make you feel great (thank you, Mr. Endorphin) and you’ll be more likely to make better choices throughout your day. Do it as a family. Go for a walk, dance around the living room during the musical performances on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, challenge your kids to a game, be creative…but move your body!
3. Get an accountability partner
When my sister-in-law Andrea told me that she has lost 20lbs in the last few months I immediately suggested we hold each other accountable Thursday. Knowing that someone else knows your goals can help you stay focused.We plan to exercise together and help one another think twice about what we put in our mouths. See if anyone else you will be spending the holidays with can do the same for you.
4. Drink at least 8 ounces of water right before you eat
Full stomach…eat less.
5. Eat slowly…enjoy the conversation
Your body takes time to know it is full. Enjoy your meal by savoring and appreciating each bite. Put your fork down between bites and take your time. Stuffing it down quickly and immediately going back for more isn’t really enjoying it. The main event should be family, friends, socializing, and conversation, not just what’s on your plate.
6. Call on Jesus
If this holiday is really about giving thanks, lets remember Who we are thankful to. Cultivate a heart of gratitude even while you are eating. Thank Him for all of your blessings and invite Him to join you for your meal.
7. Lean on the Word
I’ve often heard Beth Moore jokingly say that on the 8th day God created note cards! From her I learned a method of relying on God’s power through His Word. I keep spiral-bound note cards in my purse. On days like Thanksgiving you will most likely see those note cards sitting right in front of my plate. Here are a few scriptures I plan to have front and center this Thursday:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP)
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
I relied on several scriptures in my Journey to lose 100lbs, memorizing and quoting them when I am tempted. You can see more of them here.
8. Wait before you go back for seconds
Take a breather. Get away from the table for a while. Ask yourself if your body is hungry or if you’re trying to fill some other void. Then repeat tips 6 & 7!
9. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make healthy choices
I’ve always believed the lie that “Since I’ve already blown it I might as well continue. I’ll start back fresh on Monday”. NO!!! If you overeat, finish strong! Every choice you make matters. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Need some inspiration? I got a song about it! Like to hear it? Here ya go!
I know the title of this blog says I have 10 steps. But I’m sure that several of you have other tips you can add to this list. Leave a comment below and lets share. I’d love to hear from you (and I’m sure others would love to hear what has worked for you too)! So what is number 10?
I want to enjoy Thanksgiving. That includes the meal. But I also want to walk away from that day not feeling sick and disappointed. I hope you feel the same way. We can do this friends! Are you with me?