Health and Fitness with Jake
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012 12:11
Happy almost Thanksgiving!
Time to bring on the turkey, delicious garlic mashed potatoes, the rich, creamy gravy, vegetable medley and the candied yams with slabs of butter slowly melting into each dish. Don’t forget the stuffing and cranberry sauce.
And the pies – oh, yes, the pies.
With platters piled high, laughter in the air and pallets reeling from an overload of delicious flavors, the stage is set for what many consider to be the one holiday a year when gluttony rules the day.
With over-indulgence on Thanksgiving Day come stretchy sweatpants, hypoglycemia and an overall feeling of being in a “food hangover.” Although it may seem these post-Thanksgiving symptoms stay around for only 24 hours, the results may stick to you in more ways than one.
Americans will gain an average of five pounds throughout the entire holiday season. That’s 17,500 calories of extra food that will turn into fat, according to mayoclinic.com. The Thanksgiving smorgasbord generally kicks off this mass cultivation period.
Despite this measly five pounds being a number that most people will shrug off, have you ever seen what five pounds of fat looks like? Google it.
Now I’m not trying to be a spoilsport and tell you not to enjoy all of the delicious culinary aspects this day of thanks has to offer. On the contrary, I hope you all have a wonderful turkey day filled with some of your all time favorite dishes, sharing the bountiful harvest of Wegman’s finest produce and poultry.
I just want to remind you this holiday season does not have to be an excuse to stop your fitness crusade, gorging yourself past the point of intelligible conversation and treating your bathroom like a vomitorium to make room for second and third helpings.
Remember, even though it may go slightly against your Thanksgiving traditions, to take your time and slowly eat your way through the highly anticipated feast; it will allow for better digestion. Also, don’t overeat and you won’t wind up feeling nauseated and incapacitated on the couch for the rest of the night.
Be mindful of what you are eating.
This emotional attachment we have toward food within our culture distracts us from the primary function of food, which is to act as sustenance for our body to continue to run at maximum efficiency.
Simply by cutting down on portion sizes and using fewer flavor-enhancing elements, such as heavy amounts of gravy and butter, you can still enjoy your holiday fare without the fear of adding a few inches to your waistline.
As with anything, whether it is the drinking you plan to do or the food and drink you plan to ingest during Thanksgiving festivities, moderation is key.
Try to take your time. Maybe only have one piece of pie this year? If you do feel the need to try every type sitting on the table, try splitting a slice of each with your neighbor.
It’s the little things that will help you stay on track with your overall fitness goals.
Weekly Fit Tips:
Start a new family tradition! While the turkey is roasting away in the oven and your grandma is taking her afternoon nap, get the family together and go out into the yard for a fun-filled game of football. This will really peak your appetite for dinner and give your metabolism a big boost in preparation for the feast in store.
I cannot stress enough the importance of moderation and the regulation of portion size, not only during the holidays, but also for every meal in general. According to preventcancer.aicr.org, “there can be up to three or four standard servings, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the portions we regularly eat.” With this exuberance factoring into the ever-increasing obesity epidemic in America, cutting down the amount of food you eat will have a tremendous impact on your overall health and fitness.