Earlier this week we joined host Meg Oliver on Good Morning America Health (The Segment) to chat about ways to stay lean and healthy and get back on track after Thanksgiving. It was a blast! In case you missed our segment, we shared our top tips for preventing a downward spiral the day after overindulgence, how to handle the high calorie leftovers, and what to do if your intestinal tract is a little “off track.” Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mistake: The day after Thanksgiving most people feel full and guilty so they often skip breakfast altogether to save calories. As the day progresses, they get hungry and fall prey to all of the high calorie left-overs and dig themselves deeper.
Get Back on Track: No matter how much you overdid it the night before and even if you don’t feel hungry, have a small, light, high fiber, high protein breakfast. Don’t skip this meal! It’s the most important step to keep you on track all day. You’ll get your body & mind on the healthy track. IF you skip it, you’ll be overly hungry by lunch and it will be easier for you to succumb to all of the high-calories leftovers.
- Have a small portion (1/3 – one-half cup is enough if you’re full!) of a high fiber carbohydrate like oatmeal for energy and combine it with an easy to grab source of protein like Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is creamy and delicious and higher in protein than regular yogurt to help you to feel satisfied. Go for the unsweetened, nonfat yogurt to save your waist-line and your heart. It’s easy to grab on the way out the door for a day of shopping. (If you need sweetness, add 1/4 cup berries).
2. Mistake: You plan to eat the leftovers in the same form they were served. If you just loaded up a Thanksgiving-style plate every day for lunch and dinner, you’ll tire of them quickly and you’ll start to set yourself up for weight gain with the big portions and all of the calorie-dense choices.
The Fix: Instead, the key here is to take those leftovers and turn them into something new, healthy and different than they were at Thanksgiving dinner. Try our lighter leftover faves:
- Instead of a baked potato with butter and sour cream, make a potato into an entire meal by topping it with a small portion of chili, nonfat cheese or Greek yogurt for a protein-rich delicious replacement for butter & sour cream. Baked potato is great because it’s super satisfying and just 110 calories for a medium sized potato. It’s fat, sodium and cholesterol free and helps to fight off those flus and colds associated with holiday stress since a potato has 45% of the Daily Value of vitamin C. (Betcha didn’t know that a potato also has more potassium.) Add a side of veggies for even more nutrients.
- Instead of your typical turkey leftover sandwich with gravy, spruce up your sandwich by adding avocado instead of gravy to make a delicious and creamy sandwich topper. You can get three slices, an ounce worth, for just 50 calories and you get the good fats.
Want another light option? Ditch the extra carbs and make a light and filling, fiber and protein rich salad out of romaine, fresh turkey, leftover steamed veggies/ green beans, lemon and a couple tablespoons of a chopped festive fruit like figs, dates or pomegranate arils. You can even add a teaspoon or two of stuffing for a new twist.
- Reduce the calories in your stuffing by mixing the stuffing with chopped mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic and onion. You can sauté the veggies in low-sodium vegetable broth or simply heat and soften them in the microwave. The real secret is to put the stuffing/veggie mixture in muffin tins and bake it. These get really crispy and delicious and best of all its’ portion-controlled.
3. Mistake: You’re feeling helpless because you’re off track and constipated from traveling, stress and overeating.
The Fix: Of course healthy eating habits and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent constipation, but don’t forget about water! Water helps push waste out of your colon and gets “things” moving. It also helps to restore normal fluid status if you’re a bit bloated after Thanksgiving from eating a few too many salty foods. As soon as you wake up, drink 16 ounces of water to get things moving. It works wonders!
If you’re like us, you’re working hard this holiday season to exercise and eat healthfully, but you are always faced with daily trials and tribulations. We’ll continue to keep you posted with our challenges and how we overcome them. Please check in with us on our Facebook page to let us know how you’re doing too! We’d love to help in any way we can. Happy Thanksgiving!