Wellness and Thanksgiving

Most of us already know the health risks we all have around Thanksgiving. Even though we all recognize these health risks we seem unable to resist. Face it. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through social media and food websites showing you photos of the most delicious (and possibly the most evil) desserts and comfort food meals you’ve ever seen and not make them.

The cycle starts around Halloween:

  • We increase our calorie intake and, perhaps, gain some weight.
  • We eat foods that we know will not make us feel very good.
  • We increase our consumption of sugars and processed foods…Thank you Aunt Mary and your office co-workers for all the cookies and fudge.
  • Our dinners may lean more toward more comforting foods that may contain a higher fat and calorie count.
  • We over-schedule ourselves and can’t take a walk or go to the gym

According to the Calorie Control Council, the association that’s been around since the 60’s to study calorie intake for the diet food industry, they estimate that the average caloric intake on Thanksgiving Day is 4,500 calories. The average caloric intake on every other day is 2,000.

On Thanksgiving most of us older folks have figured out that we are definitely going to overeat and try to plan our day based on how much LESS uncomfortable we can be this year over previous years.

Here are some suggestions to navigate your Thanksgiving this year:

Start your day active and stay active: You probably don’t have to work today so stretch out and take a brisk walk. Go to CAC in the morning on Thanksgiving. We offer special group classes to prepare you for the day. Don’t sit for long periods of time. Get up and move around if your surroundings allow for it.

Don’t skip breakfast: Eat a normal breakfast and a few snacks before the big meal. You’ll be less likely to consume as many overall calories plus your body will have a much harder time digesting a high calorie meal after skipping your normal meals.

Drink Water: Drinking a large glass of water before your meal can help fill you up and help you feel fuller sooner.

Use a smaller plate: This equals smaller portions in most cases. You can focus on smaller amounts at a time and possibly less calories overall.

Take a walk after your big meal: Many studies suggest that taking a 15 to 30 minute walk after your meal will help aid in digestion and help improve your blood sugar levels

Focus on others: Many organizations and churches need volunteers for helping to feed the less fortunate every Thanksgiving. Putting things in perspective have a way of making your heart fuller than your stomach could ever be.

-Dan Engle, Membership Director, CAC – Silver lake