Have a plan

Garrett in 2010. I told you we love turkey headbands in this family.

My Thanksgivingy mother-in-law, Terry, who always inspires me to bring my best decorations to the table.

My aproned mom, Bev, ready to party and lovely as can be.

Next week is Thanksgiving, in case you hadn’t noticed, and if you are hosting (20 people!!!!) like me, you probably have all kinds of plans. The menu, the timing, the seating, the decorations, the kids’ activities, the wine list, the list goes on and on. But do you have a plan for your wellness?

Unless you are some genetic freak of nature who can eat through the holidays without gaining an ounce, this time of year probably leads to at least a little stress about expanding waistlines and squishy muscles.

Statistics show that most people don’t gain more than a pound by the time January rolls around, so chances are you won’t bust out of your favorite jeans. The problem is that often, that one pound sticks around until it’s joined by next year’s one pound, and on and on and on.

So what’s a pumpkin-loving person to do? Well, you can make like a turkey, and sign up for a local turkey trot, as I mentioned in this post. You can ramp up your workouts with some HIIT, like I explained here and here. Or, you can settle on a turkey day eating strategy that allows you to enjoy some of your favorite foods without going crazy town.

It’s pretty simple, really. Don’t eat with wild abandon, rather ask yourself, is this really worth the calories. Think about what foods make your mouth water, and what dishes you wouldn’t mind passing over. Eat small portions of the stuff you really love, plus anything low-cal and healthy like turkey (sans gravy), salad (not the marshmallow fruit kind), and roasted veggies (you know I don’t mean mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole with marshamallows). Don’t be guilted or peer pressured into eating more than you want, and remember, drinks have calories too.

You don’t have to be a saint all the time, just be smart about the choices you make. Get right back on track the next day, returning to healthier eating and exercise habits, and you’ll make it to 2012 just fine.

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