Don’t panic!  Just because Thanksgiving is around the corner, doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to gaining weight!  I’ve asked Rachel to put together some words of wisdom to address the holiday weight gain debacle.

Worried?  Stressed about an over abundance of food on Thanksgiving?  Here are a few tips for managing that Thanksgiving buffet:

  • Eat as you normally would prior to dinner. Don’t “save up” your calories as this could backfire leading to overeating.
  • Focus on lean protein and veggies. The protein and fiber will keep you feeling fuller, longer.Fill your plate with 2/3 veggies and 1/3 protein.
  • Control your portion sizes. Skip that second helping.
  • Eat slowly. Put your fork down between bites and really enjoy your food.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. One drink for women, two drinks for men.
  • Ditto for desserts. Pumpkin pie is lower in sugar, fat, and calories than pecan pie. Plus, you’ll get an extra dose of fiber and vitamin A. Limit yourself to one slice and, if you must, top sparingly with light whipped cream.
  • Get moving. Sign up for a 5k Turkey Trot or take a walk with your family in the morning.Take another walk about an hour after eating.
  • Be realistic. For those of us trying to lose weight, shifting the focus to weight maintenance may be more reasonable. As if it isn’t tough enough to lose weight any other time of year, the holidays can be particularly challenging.

First and foremost, remember what Thanksgiving is all about: family and friends. Don’t let food be your focus– choose wisely and you won’t feel deprived.

ABOUT RACHEL: Rachel Swartz-Hartje is an NASM certified personal trainer and is currently completing her degree in community health promotion. She enjoys running, Rachel bodybuilding and torturing her clients (and friends) into submission. She is definitely a bad-ass. Don’t let her nice profile picture fool you. Her mantra? “Discipline is the Bridge Between Goals and Accomplishments.” Oh yeah, she also used to be in the Navy. Don’t. Mess. With. Her.