Turkey, potatoes, and pie—oh my! Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the few extra pounds you packed on this holiday season haven’t. With dish after dish of mouthwatering food in front of you, turning down holiday goodies can be challenging even for the most disciplined person.
Rather than beating yourself up for overeating, put a post-Thanksgiving workout plan in place to help you firm up and slim down. Making changes to your food and fitness habits now can lead to benefits you’ll enjoy for the rest of the year and beyond. Use the following ideas as a guide to a healthier and fitter you.
Clear the Holiday Fridge
The feast is over, but the fridge is still full. If you hosted a dinner party, your refrigerator may be brimming with high-fat, high-calorie leftovers—particularly desserts. The first step in your post-Thanksgiving plan should be to start with a clean slate.
Instead of letting leftovers linger, pack them up for guests to take home or take them to a homeless shelter immediately after the holiday.
Stock Up on Smart Choices
Once your shelves have been cleared of temptations, it’s time to bring in the good stuff. Replace the holiday fare with healthier, low-calorie food options. Bring in a variety of foods:
- vegetables (especially leafy greens)
- low-fat meats and dairy products
- whole-grain bread and grains
- nuts, legumes, and seeds
Turn to these instead of pie with whipped cream when you need a nosh. The sooner you make the switch, the easier it will be to lose any weight you’ve gained.
Limit Trips and Treats
To get back into healthy habits, you need to cut back on calories and special-occasion meals. Restaurant food tends to be high in salt, fat, and calories—the very things you’re trying to avoid.
It’s much easier to control your eating habits at home, so if you dine out often, try to reduce your restaurant trips in the coming months. To keep calories down, limit your dessert intake as well.
Commit to an Exercise Class
If you’ve packed on extra calories, you’ll need to apply an extra “burn.” What better way to torch that spare tire than by getting into the routine of a new activity? Group exercise classes, offered at most gyms, give you an extra boost of motivation.
Sign up for something you’ve never tried before, like Zumba or spinning, or stick to an old standby like aerobics. If you prefer outdoor workouts, take up cycling or hiking—many group outings are available for these sports as well.
Find a Workout Buddy
If you failed to use self-restraint over the holiday, chances are that some of your friends and colleagues did too. Instead of commiserating about it, why not plan your workouts together? Extend an invitation to your friends to exercise with you.
Knowing that you have a pal for support can help ensure that you don’t skip your workouts. Plus, your post-holiday workout buddy will likely be motivated by the same goals that you are: to get back on track to better health and fitness as soon as possible.