We spoke with Corie Richter, certified nutrition coach, former chef, recipe creator and menu developer for Thrive Health Bar – which has locations in all three TruFusions – to discuss ways you can enjoy yourself this Thanksgiving and win the battle of the bulge. That’s right, you can have your pie and eat it too.
Be veggie-focused first
Corie recommends loading up your plate the first time primarily with vegetables followed by some protein before digging into the stuff you desire. She says when you look down on your plate it should contain 50% veggies, 25% protein, and no more than 25% for the other stuff like all that carbohydrate goodness. Then – after you’ve given it some thought – you can head in for round two and allow yourself to indulge in your favorite foods.
And when we speak of vegetables, we’re not talking about mom’s homemade mashed potatoes. Those veggies should be green or colorful and smartly prepared. There are plenty of recipes for excellent salads, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and even green beans dishes all over the internet.
Yes, a no-brainer. But be active before and after the big meal.
Enlist your friends and sign up for a turkey-trot or get them together in the park that morning for soccer or game of football.
“That’s definitely going to rev up your metabolism and get it started for the day,” Corie says. “When you work out in the morning, you jumpstart your metabolism and you will continue to burn calories and fat even a couple of hours after your workout.”
By making it a social occasion, you make it more likely to happen. Never downplay the power of peer pressure when it comes to keeping you on track. And don’t forget you can also take a class at TruFusion that morning, but check the schedule first as all three locations have limited classes Thanksgiving Day.
After the big meal, take a nice long walk. Corie says doing so will help with digestion.
You can either take along family or friends or use it as a way to get some much needed alone time.
Be smart the rest of day
One meal won’t make or break you, but remember we’re talking about one meal – we’re not talking about ditching your diet for the next six weeks. Be sure to have a sensible breakfast and lunch.
Skipping a meal or two is even okay. Intermittent fasting is becoming more popular, but Corie only supports a nutritionally-based intermittent fasting approach. In other words, break your fast by covering all your bases with smart, nutritionally-dense food choices like the veggie-focused advice Corie recommends above.
“Only eat it if you really, really want it,” Corie says. In her case, that means chocolate. She’ll indulge now and then when it comes to chocolate – for her, that’s worth it. But she’ll think twice when it comes to someone shoving a bowl of nachos in front of her. So limit your choices to foods that are worth it for you.
Take time to enjoy your food and savour every bite. It’s advice we’ve all heard before: Chew your food x-number of times, be mindful of what you’re eating, etc., but it’s an effective strategy to prevent you from stuffing yourself silly.
“There’s a mentality that goes along with that. If you really enjoy the bite – think about how it tastes, think about how it makes you feel – then you’ll feel more satisfied than if you rush through it,” Corie says.
Once again, let’s remember this holiday is an occasion to give thanks for all the good things in our lives. That includes family, friends, and some excellent food and drink on your table. You work hard. It’s okay to take a moment and appreciate all you’ve accomplished.
Corie Richter is available to answer your nutrition-related questions at: [email protected].