Trying to watch your waistline? Here are 5 ways to feel less fat after Thanksgiving. If there was ever a time when you just don't want to be seen naked, it's probably during the hours after feasting on Thanksgiving dinner. No matter how fit you are, how lean you might be or how great you feel about your body - you've got a tipping point. That tipping point is the moment you go from feeling full to feeling stuffed. It's safe to say that anyone reading this has indeed pushed passed stuffed to insanely stuffed. You feel big, bloated and just plain uncomfortable. It's not pretty.
Personally, if I overeat - even on the healthy stuff - it's almost always a family get-together. Stress? Possibly. But more likely, the guilt I feel if I don't eat something awesome, yet fattening, that took my grandmother eight hours to make. I'm not far from exaggerating, either. My grandmother makes the most incredible potato pancakes that she fries in lard (yes, lard), then slathers in apple sauce. They're incredible. Fortunately she lives six hours away and I never seem to visit when they're on the menu.
So what does one do when they're feeling a little thick through the middle? Prepare yourself. As odd as it may sound, there is strong chance you could be hungrier than normal in the morning. Unless you noshed away at veggies and hummus all day, the food you ate probably had a decent amount of calories - and within those calories were sugar. Eating large amounts of food, particularly very starchy or sugary foods, can throw off your blood sugar levels, creating a roller coaster effect. After you eat, blood sugar levels spike high. Shortly thereafter, they drop like a bomb. Your blood sugar could still be a little crazy the morning after, so go easy on your body.
Here are a few ways to get your body back on track after eating too much on turkey day.
Drink Water: Sounds cliche, right? Everybody tells you to drink water. Food needs to digest - and water helps in that process. What's more, large amounts of food without any H2O can dehydrate you. Before you go to bed and the morning after you wake up, drink plenty of water. I like to shoot for 12 - 14 ounces spiked with a little lemon juice for flavor.
Power Up on Protein: Rather than reaching for that bagel, slice of toast or bowl of cereal, eat something rich in protein. Protein and some fat help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Breakfast sets the stage for the entire day, so make a smart choice. Easy options include scrambled eggs and whole gain toast, one tablespoon of almond nut butter added to a bowl of oatmeal w/milk, plain yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and cinnamon or cottage cheese on a spouted grain English muffin (FYI - I love Ezekiel).
Drink Water, Again: Every couple hours, particularly before a meal or a snack, drink a big glass of water. Water is a great way to flush the ick out of your system. You want that, right?
Move: What's your plan on Friday? If you're shopping, you may be moving around quite a bit - but at some point, move even more to work up a sweat. If you're traveling away from home, bring your running shoes. If you're going to a town that has a gym, see if you can get a day pass.
Avoid Sugary and Salty Foods: Nothing holds onto water better than sugary and salty foods. The leftover pumpkin pie and green bean casserole might be tempting, but give it a rest. Now's your chance to fight off holiday weight gain. Did you know that most of us will gain a mere one to three pounds from now until the New Year. Doesn't sound so bad, right? The problem is that we don't get rid of it. Leave the salt shaker and leftover desserts alone.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. If you can, fight the urge to overeat. If you do - get back on track with these simple steps!
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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.