Thanksgiving Shape-up Tips with Karen Jashinsky
November 23, 2011 Leave a comment
Even if we have our best intentions – many of us are likely to overindulge on Thanksgiving. BUT there are some tactics you can use to minimize the damage that may result! And for all the dessert lovers (myself definitely included) dessert is part of the plan!
Here is the general strategy
- Find out what will be at dinner that you know you can’t (or do not want to) resist
- AMP up the workouts the week before
- Instead of sitting around all morning go get your workout on!
- LOTS of water
- And the morning after – get your workout on AGAIN!
The more calories you can burn before your meal, the better! When we exercise, our bodies require more energy and our metabolism speeds up to supply it. After an intense exercise session the body starts using more fat and less carbohydrates. Several hormones that are released during exercise remain elevated in the blood afterward, increasing metabolism. There is still mixed research on how much you really burn after workouts but the general consensus is that an intense workout will continue to burn more calories than one that doesnt require you to exert much energy.
The day before:
- AMP up your workout
- drink lots of water
- eat on the healthier side
Before you head out the door for Thanksgiving dinner:
- Breakfast – You’re going to do an intense workout so make sure you eat something to give you some extra energy. You are doing yourself a disservice by fasting or starving.
- Do an INTENSE workout. If you can finish your workout pretty close to the meal, lots of your calories will essentially be used as “post workout fuel” as I like to refer to it as. You will want to have a small snack afterwards if you worked hard, and that way you won’t show up famished to Thanksgiving dinner.
At the Thanksgiving Meal
Determine your strategy before you even get there. If you’re not sure that there will be at least 1 healthy thing you might want to get some new friends. In all seriousness, offer to bring a salad or some steamed veggies.
- Pre-nibbles – avoid them or chose the raw veggies. Celery is a great bet as it is mostly water and super low in calories.
- Survey your options before you start piling up your plate.
- Fill your plate w veggies first – try to make as many of them steamed or dressing on the side as possible then some white meat turkey- then some extra carbs like stuffing as an after thought
- What is your must have? What do you not get to eat most of the year? Savor it
- It’s all about portions – smaller portions- allow you to sample more things.
- Chew your food slowly – when you take the time to properly chew your food, you will eat slower and less, but still feel full after your meal. Eating slower gives your brain time to register that you are eating, and therefore it is able to send a signal that you are full when you have eaten enough. You usually have to be about 20 minutes into the meal before your brain is able to send this signal.
- Are you going back for seconds or dessert-Are you a sampler? a chocolate person? a fruit person? an equal opportunity person? Personally I LOVE dessert. I’d rather give up any other carb to have dessert and I’d rather try a bite of most than just have one dessert and wonder about the rest. If there is fruit. Grab some fruit.
- MOVE away from the table
- Be helpful – help set the table, clean the dishes, bring food to and from the table
- Post Dinner Walk. Donate your miles to a good cause with beewellforlife!
- Play with the nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.
The morning after
- WORKOUT: if you did over-indulge do a short run or walk before Breakfast. You’ll burn off some extra calories and put some of the extra carbs to work. Muscles use sugar as fuel, so use it up while you can and give your metabolism a little boost. If you plan to do a long endurance workout or an intense workout however you WILL want to eat something small for breakfast. You are doing yourself a dis-service if you attempt an intense workout without eating anything.
- Lots of water
Bottom line (no pun intended) – the real trick is to learn how to MAXimize your metabolism all the time. It can be one of the most powerful things you can do in the long run. Burning calories here and there is definitely helpful and needed but the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will keep burning, even when you are sitting on the couch doing nothing. While there are things you can do to burn off some of that stuffing or pumpkin pie, what you really want to think about is what you are doing leading up to Thanksgiving and what you can do after Thanksgiving. Don’t wait till New Years to Make Your Resolutions either. Start this week!
And truth be told – one meal with a few extra calories won’t completely sabotage your figure. It’s the post Thanksgiving meal, the pre-meal nibbles and going back for seconds that will do more damage. Many of us are not active all day, and this is why you want to do as much as you can to condition your body to burn calories all the time. This can only be done over-time. But in the mean-time you can get started now! Visit www.maxufitness.com or www.o2maxfitness.com for some Thanksgiving week workouts!
Tips from some of our favorite fitness professionals:
- Eat your healthy meals before you go out to dinner or happy hour
- Plan your cardio workout for the next day ahead of time.
- No doggie bags after dinner.
-Dion Jackson, MEGA Celebrity Trainer
This post was written by: Karen Jashinsky
Karen Jashinsky is the founder of O2 MAX-a fitness & media company based in Santa Monica, CA that creates custom fitness programs for busy students integrating personal training, group workouts, fitness passes and online coaching. O2 MAX does this by integrating social media with technology and real world fitness. Karen is a certified personal trainer and has a BSBA from Washington University and an MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from USC. She is the recipient of the First “Emerging Female Leader” Award by IHRSA. In 2007 she was also named one of the 25 most influential young leaders in the fitness industry by IHRSA. She is a frequent speaker at fitness conferences and trade-shows on youth fitness, social media and entrepreneurship. She takes an entrepreneurial approach to creating fitness solutions for her clients so they can reach their goals and MAXimize their lifestyles. Having recovered a near fatal bicycle accident Karen is a huge advocate of a strong core and integrates yoga and pilates based moves into most of her strength and fitness training programs.