(CARLSBAD, CA) – The annual routine is always the same. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, stuff yourself full of turkey and gravy, indulge in a slice of fresh-baked pie, and then lounge on the couch for a full-stomach induced slumber. Round out the day with a couple of football games (viewing, not playing, that is), and your Thanksgiving is complete.
For the health-conscious among us, it may seem impossible to maintain a weight-controlled holiday, without putting a damper on the festive occasion. After all, who wants to eat brussel sprouts in place of mashed potatoes and gravy?
The problem is that most of us gain approximately one pound every holiday season, according to the National Institute of Health. And while one pound may not ring ominous at first glance, that pound stays with us, and is accompanied by another pound of weight gain every subsequent year. Add up dozens of holiday weight-gaining seasons over the years, and it’s a recipe for an expanding waistline.
It’s not impossible to ward off the weight during this holiday season, however. Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc., offers the following recommendations for keeping the pounds off this Thanksgiving:
Set reasonable goals – Don’t attempt to lose five pounds during the week of Thanksgiving. Instead, set a realistic goal, such as maintaining your current weight.
Play favorites – You’re under no obligation to eat a portion of everything on the table. Instead, choose your favorite three or four dishes, and help yourself to a reasonable serving size of those items.
Find time for exercise – Take an hour of the day and devote it to fitness. Propose a family Turkey Trot after the main course before polishing off a piece of pumpkin pie.
Set limits – Before you begin eating, set a limit for your alcohol intake. Don’t refill your glass until you finish what’s already in it. Try drinking water or a non-alcoholic beverage in between each alcoholic drink.
Eat breakfast – Don’t save up your calories for one big meal late in the day. You’ll just end up downing excess calories to satisfy your grumbling stomach. Eat a healthy breakfast and a midday snack, so that you’re not tempted to chow-down on three servings of stuffing late in the day.
Make substitutions – Try fat-free milk instead of whole milk in your pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes. Substitute whole-wheat dinner rolls for biscuits. And serve wine spritzer in place of wine.
Trim the fat – Chill your gravy overnight, then skim off the top layer of hardened fat before serving.
Make a few small changes this Thanksgiving. You’ll find that your family can enjoy the holiday just as much, without gaining the excess pounds.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.