It’s time to detox! Welcome to your post-Thanksgiving recovery plan.
For starters, I’m not going to tell you push away the gravy. Or replace pumpkin pie with a cup of tea for dessert. Because, well, it’s Thanksgiving.
My approach to health and fitness is all about balance (I take the 80% 20% rule when it comes to flexible dieting. But that’s a topic for another day) Today we are talking about how to recover from a day of feasting, and how to eat healthy during that dangerous one month period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So you’re not rolling into the New Year like the Times Square ball. In fact, you’ll probably even drop a few lbs.
THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
Drink it Up
Start the day with lemon water, and chug it all throughout the day. It will help detoxify and flush out everything you ate the day before, and rev up your metabolism. Try to avoid caffeine, but if you can’t go without your morning kick, sip on green tea. Which is rich in antioxidants and will also give your metabolism a boost.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Because you’ll probably binge on leftovers later. That being said, don’t eat if you’re not hungry either. We are creatures of habit. So you’ll probably find yourself reaching for the fridge in the morning or at lunch, but stop and think. Are you hungry? Or is it habit? If it’s actually hunger knocking at your door, satiate it with lean protein. For breakfast think Greek yogurt and berries. And for lunch & dinner opt for fish, poultry, or legumes with a bunch of veggies.
THE WEEK AFTER
The week after Thanksgiving is about resetting your body, and picking back up with healthy eating habits. (Aka not falling into the holiday black hole of holiday pies and Christmas cookies)
The diet is not dissimilar from what I mentioned above, but you can start including more grains and carbs. I love quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, and Ezekiel bread to stay full and satisfied. You can also eat carb-loaded fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes. (ps, This is also an ideal diet if you’re ever trying to drop pounds and reduce inflammation.)
THE MONTH AFTER
Be a Cheater
Christmas is around the corner, and you don’t have to deprive yourself of the occasional gingerbread cookie to get yourself in the holiday spirit.
Give yourself two cheat meals. I like to plan one and have the other be spontaneous (like when someone brings apple cider donuts to the office) Keep in mind this is a cheat meal, not a cheat day. So don’t go bananas.
Unfortunately, alcohol is a guilty suspect when it comes to looking and feeling your best. The average cocktail has 200 calories, toss back a few of those and you’re at 600 cals. The equivalent of a burger and fries at McDonalds.
And not only is it high in empty calories, but it turns into acetate, which makes it harder for you body to mobilize and burn fat.
Since banning alcohol is unrealistic for most, I try to drink it maximum once or twice a week. Like after a super stressful day, or on date night. And if you do chose to sip, avoid cocktails! While they may seem innocent, those sugary suckers go straight to your gut. Opt for a glass of wine or tequila soda instead.