If alcohol is part of the tradition, set a limit before you arrive and avoid cream-based cocktails and sweet drinks. Reduce the amount by having nonalcoholic drinks like sparkling water throughout the day. Alcohol is full of empty calories and can make smart commitments magically disappear from your mind in an instant.
Consider how your body felt last year after a day of over indulgence. More than likely as if you traded places with the turkey - plump and stuffed. Keep that thought in mind when yet another piece of pumpkin pie is passed under your nose. Just say "no." Smaller plates and moving away from the food when dinner is over also are wise decisions.
Thanksgiving seems to be open season on starch. Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, dressing and rolls. Even a few bites of each one is too much and will leave you miserable. One cup of starch is plenty and will leave you satisfied. If you want a little of each, make sure that together it is no more than 1 cup.
If you are preparing the Thanksgiving meal, send leftovers home with your guests and prevent the next day mile-high turkey sandwich complete with cranberry sauce.
Try selecting foods that are seasonal rather than traditional. After all, you really can have mashed potatoes any day of the week. Enjoy the other wonderful vegetables that this season brings.
Don't overestimate the size of your stomach. It is no bigger than two fists. Imagine that before you devour six fists of food.
Eat slowly. There's plenty of time and more than enough food. Allow your brain to get the message from your stomach that it's full. It takes about 20 minutes to get the signal.
Get your workouts in! Move for at least 30 minutes each day even if it comes in three 10-minute bouts.
It's natural to have days when we can't stick to the nutritional plan, but following a few of the tips and staying physically active will keep you from veering too far off track. It will also give you one more wonderful thing for which to be thankful.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive,
Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.