Below are a few Holiday Survival tips to keep you lean and still enjoy your time with friends and family.
Eat more Turkey: Turkey is made up of mostly protein. Protein is the sole macronutrient responsible for building and repairing your body’s tissue stores (fat and carbs simply provide energy). More specifically, regular protein intake is vital in accelerating the repair of muscle damage from high-intensity activities like strength training and cardio interval training. In addition, adequate protein intake every two to four hours is essential in maintaining your current levels of lean muscle mass. This is important because the more muscle you have the larger your metabolic engine, thus the more calories (and fat) you burn on a daily basis since muscle tissue requires a lot of energy to sustain itself. Protein is also the least likely macronutrient to be stored as body fat and the mere act of digesting protein requires more than double the energy to digest than carbohydrate and dietary fat.
Pass on the Casseroles: Casseroles can derail any fit persons nutrition strategy. Casseroles get their rich flavors from fat laden creams and butters which contain large amounts of calories from fats. Some casseroles will contain healthy vegetables but the amount of fat per serving usually out “weighs” the benefits.
Limit Your Desserts: Desserts are a tradition in most households on Thanksgiving but if you want to keep the figure you have worked so hard for the past few months you will want to skip the high sugar and potentially high fat savory desserts. If you can skip one type of dessert skip the ones with crusts. Crusts add fat and sometimes trans fats to an already sugar laden treat. Plus, portion control usually goes out the window with desserts.
Consume Less Spirits: Alcoholic beverages can negatively impact anyone’s goals to a lean trim body. Alcohol adds empty calories to your nutrition. These are calories that don’t make you full like food can but they are calorie non the less. Also, when drinking alcohol you may not make the same food choices as when you are not drinking which can negatively impact your goals to stay lean over the holiday season.
Create a Metabolic Disturbance: Get a good workout in before your Thanksgiving feast. Try either a strength workout using body weight exercises or resistance equipment. If you prefer cardio, try a cardio interval workout where you work for a period of time and rest for a period of time. For instance, sprint for 30 seconds on a treadmill and recover for 60 seconds or longer to get your heart rate back down. Both workouts will help deplete muscle glycogen stores in your muscle tissue so your body will use your Thanksgiving dinner as fuel instead of storing it as fat.
Committed to Your Success,