5 Nutrition Tips for a Practical Thanksgiving

Those of you that know me well know that I take a very pragmatic approach to my advice, especially in the area of nutrition.  Trust me.  I took the demise of the Twinkie pretty hard.  However, the most notorious overeating day is upon us.  And while I know you want to enjoy all that the dinner table (and kitchen counter, side table, and stove top) has to offer this Thursday, I’m sure that most of you don’t want it to put a complete fork in your nutrition plan (yes, pun totally intended).  So I am here to offer you a few practical ideas to help you, if not keep your nutrition plan on course this Thanksgiving Day, at least keep you from running it aground completely.  If you want 10 ways to cook a fat-free Turkey or a treatise on the overindulgence in our society, look somewhere else.  Here is just some real advice for real people.  Hope it helps.

1:  Skip a Meal.  There is nothing that says you have to stick to your 5 meals-a-day plan on Thanksgiving.  It’s about calories.  Store up the 400 breakfast calories and spend it on Pumpkin Pie for dessert.

2:  Just Say No.  If your Thanksgiving meal is anything like mine, there are about 12 different things to choose from.  Pass on the things that show up on your dinner table other times during the year, and enjoy the items that only come around on Turkey Day.  The dinner rolls won’t take it personally.

3:  A Little Goes a Long Way.  To borrow from a great everyday tip, have what you want, just in smaller amounts.  Give yourself a taste of everything so that you are not feeling like you’re depriving yourself, and avoid feeling like you’re going to explode at the end of the day.

4:  Keep it Clear.  You’ve got 364 other days to partake in all manner of calorie-laden beverages.  Skip the extra calories and just have water.  There are plenty of other taste-bud pleasing options out there.

5:  Hit the Turkey Trot.  A workout first thing in the morning will jumpstart the metabolism for the rest of the day.  Plus, when someone gives you that look as you go in for seconds, you can say “I already worked this one off”.

Feel free to share any of your tips…



Featured Exercise: Stability Ball Leg Curls

Featured Exercise: Stability Ball Leg Curls

Primary Muscles:  Hamstrings

Secondary Muscles:  Glutes, Lower Back, Hip Flexors

How many of you have that big, blue dust-collecting prop in the corner of your room?  You’ve nearly broken your neck tripping over it and you’re constantly kicking it out of the way, only to have it rebound off the corner of your bed and take out your legs in retaliation.  Well, dust it off and give this one a try.  Here is a great exercise for the hamstring muscles.  Deceptively difficult and extremely effective.  I love this one for the guys because it looks so easy, yet it gets them crying in only a couple of repetitions.  The hamstrings are an underutilized muscle.  For those that have sedentary occupations, the hamstring muscles spend a great deal of time being sat upon.  Being in a shortened position for long periods of time leave these muscles weak and tight.  Give the hamstrings a jolt with the Stability Ball Hamstring Curl.  Here’s how it goes:

Lie on your back with your feet propped up on a stability ball, feet together just over the apex of the ball.  Hands should be at your sides, palms down for support.  From this position, pushing through the backs of the legs, lift the hips off of the ground until you’ve achieved a straight-line position with the body, with heels, knees, hips, and shoulders in line.  This is the starting position for the exercise.  From here, exhale as you pull the ball towards your glutes by lifting your hips and driving the heels back.  Make sure to pick the hips up as your heels come towards the glutes, maximizing the work in the hamstring muscles and minimizing the work in the hip flexors.  Once you have pulled the legs in as far as you can, inhale as you slowly bring the legs back out to starting position, dropping the hips back down as the legs extend.  You should feel a significant amount of work in the backs of the legs.  Start with as many repetitions as you feel comfortable.  Work your way up from there.  As always, if you have any questions feel fee to leave a question in the comments section.  Enjoy!