Thanksgiving is over. But now what do you do with the leftovers, the bloat, your fitness goals and, last but not least, the diet you may have been on? These post-Thanksgiving rituals in six steps can help you.
Step 1: Get Rid Of Bloat
Did you wake up still feeling like a floatation device? We tend to think of bloat as being air, but actually a lot of it is due to fluid retention and dehydration. All that alcohol, coffee with dessert and salty foods has likely left your body yearning for water. Grab 8-10 glasses (or 3 mouthfuls every half hour) to keep your fluids topped up and beat the bloat. Water will also suppress your appetite so you don’t overeat a second day in a row.
Step2 : Eat Right To Fuel Your Day
While your first instinct may be to climb out of bed and mow down a leftover turkey sandwich, it’s best to give your body a day of rest before indulging in leftovers. DO NOT forget breakfast and aim for sensible selections. Self Magazine recommends having two scrambled eggs, two slices of whole wheat toast and two clementines for breakfast. Another option is a bowl of old fashioned rolled oats with almond slivers, cinnamon, brown sugar and a banana. (Remember that eating high-fiber oatmeal is a great way to lower cholesterol!)
A third possibility is whole wheat waffles, cottage cheese and a grapefruit. For lunch, try a grilled chicken salad and for dinner, go with a lean steak, grilled veggies and whole grain rice. Registered Dietician Toby Smithson recommends adding folate to your diet, which is normally depleted after a day of marathon drinking. You can find this vitamin in leafy greens, beans, avocados, eggs, bananas, oranges, peanuts, baked potatoes, corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries.
Step 3: Workout
The type of workout you choose for your post-Thanksgiving regimen depends upon your overall fitness goals.
- For instance, if you’ve been working toward toning, there is no better activity to rebalance your heightened cortisol levels than to do a little Downward Dog along to your yoga / pilates DVD. Also, the twisting, bending, breathing and motions associated with yoga is great for replenishing the liver with a fresh supply of blood and oxygen, which will help your body’s natural coping abilities.
- If you want to pack on some more pounds of muscle, you’ll want to fill your day with deadlifts, bench presses, military presses, barbell curls, weighted dips or weighted crunches. According to Men’s Health, you should perform 3 or 4 sets of each. For the first two, you’ll want to lift enough weight to max out between 8-10 reps. For the last two, you’ll want to load on weight so you can only reach 5 or 6 reps.
- If you want to drop some possibly gained fat and assure a sexy, trim physique, Men’s Health recommends high-intensity interval training the day after Thanksgiving. Walk at 4 mph for a minute on your treadmill to warm up, then follow that by jogging a minute at 6 mph. Next, sprint a minute at 8-10 mph, and repeat this whole cycle for 15 minutes. After this cardio workout, you’ll want to perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps for each of deadlifts, bench presses, military presses, alternating dumbbell curls. tricep pushdowns and hanging leg raises.
- Don’t despair if you work out at home and don’t have access to all sorts of new-fangled weight lifting machines. You can still achieve great benefits with the exercises recommended in the home workout plan right here!
Step 4: Do Some Cleaning
People often forget that household chores can count toward calorie burning too.
According to FitDay, you can…
- Dig outside for 30 minutes: Burn 315 calories, while working your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders.
- Rake leaves for 30 minutes: Burn 225 calories, while toning all major muscle groups.
- Scrub your bath tub for 30 minutes: Burn 200 calories to work your arms and shoulders.
- Load the dishwasher for 30 minutes: Burn 105 calories (or do them by hand to burn 160).
- Vacuum for 30 minutes: Burn 90 calories.
- Dust for 30 minutes: Burn 50 calories.
Step 5: Splurge A Little
If you’re really brave, you can venture out on Black Friday to do a little guilt-free shopping. Not only will you snag some incredible bargains, but carrying your shopping bags for 30 minutes can burn 190 calories or more (depending on the weight of your bags).
The Huffington Post reports that a 5 – 11 AM leisurely stroll around the stores can burn off 600 calories or, if you’re a brisk walker, 900 calories. If you walk outside the mall to get to the next store and do a little shivering, if you do a little lifting and carrying, and if you try on a few cute outfits, your shopping trip could easily net 1,500 burned calories by the time you’re done! You won’t enjoy all the health gains you’d get at the gym, but you can certainly get over some of the post-holiday guilt.
Step 6: Keep Perspective
What’s most important is that you just remember it’s only one day. It may be tempting to put off your weight loss and fitness goals until “after the holidays” and give yourself a free pass for the next month, but if you roll with the punches and pick up right where you left off, you’ll find you can still enjoy the holidays without paying for it in pounds.