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As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches and the unforsaken year of 2020 is finally coming to an end, indulging in all of your favorite comfort foods and watching football all day long sounds more than perfect.
However, massive amounts of food during the holidays isn’t always going to be the best option if you’re trying to stay in shape.
It’s especially going to be more difficult to keep those abs intact when you’ve got grandma making her homemade pumpkin and sweet potato pies that are essentially irresistible.
But what if I told you there’s plenty of different ways to stay lean and still enjoy all of your Thanksgiving treats?
Sounds impossible, right?
In this article, we’re going to break down all the different ways that you can remain in top shape while keeping your physique looking chiseled all while feasting on delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole – okay, I need to stop.
Let’s get started, shall we?
It’s going to be important to note that the term, “eyes bigger than your stomach” is actually a thing that tends to happen a lot.
In order to keep your head on straight going into the holidays, you’re going to want to mentally prepare yourself to stay on track just like normal.
Many times, people tend to get careless with their diet since it’s deemed as being “okay” to overindulge and get back on track once the Holiday season is over.
Well, I hate to break it to you but getting back on track after weeks of bad eating and reckless lounging is going to be much harder along with trying to get yourself out of a permanently lazy state of mind.
It’s really as simple as this, stay focused on your goals, and don’t get careless over the next few weeks.
Just like everyone, we all know what a cheat meal is and why they can prove to be so beneficial to not only our mental progress but also physical progression.
Allowing yourself a cheat meal after sticking to your diet all week is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s not abused or turns into an all-out cheat day/week.
Use this toward your benefit and avoid any cheats for the previous 2-3 weeks and then plan out your next one to be on Thanksgiving so you can eat all of your favorite foods without the guilt.
Trust me, having the satisfaction of knowing you worked your ass off and remained strict on dieting in the weeks prior – you’re going to feel that much better about all of the foods you engorge yourself in on turkey day.
Not to mention, giving your body the shock of eating non-diet foods for the first time in a while can actually be used to your benefit as the metabolism will essentially speed back up and can help you bust through plateaus.
Burn, burn, and keep burning those calories while also lifting heavy in the gym – staying on top of your training and implementing more cardio can help you gain more of an appetite and will obviously help you lean out along the way.
Training on Thanksgiving is no exception, build up your appetite and earn that huge dinner by getting in a great workout early on in the morning.
If your gym is closed, get active, and get creative.
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The more you move around, the more calories you’ll burn, and by burning more calories – you allow yourself to take in more food without it being such a negative impact on your physique.
Timing your cheat meals post-workout is the smartest approach so that you can feed your muscles the nutrients they need after being broken down from a tough workout.
When you really start to think about it, there’s plenty of alternative options you can choose from for your Thanksgiving meal that is on the macro-friendly side.
If your body has been adapted to eating much cleaner for a longer period of time, introducing greasier and fattier foods might not be the best option for your stomach.
Save yourself the pain and opt for healthier options with smaller portion sizes also.
Let’s break down all the best foods to look for when wanting to stay shredded on turkey day.
Delicious tasting and absolutely packed with protein while very limited on the fat content. Skinless turkey breast takes the fattier side away from this dish and is the perfect addition to your festive plate.
Opting to remove the skin may garner some weird looks from the family while sitting at the dinner table but it’s much better than making a regrettable food choice and having it cost you on macros.
I’m sorry to inform you that green bean casserole is not cutting the list here, but even plain green beans are equally tasty and are perfectly healthy for you!
Micronutrients are important and green beans are also packed with vitamins A, C, and K to help round off this awesome side dish.
This high glycemic carbohydrate source goes great with any dinner plate considering it is loaded with fiber and is incredibly nutritious.
Did I forget to mention that sweet potatoes also taste incredible?
While they may not be the same as the homemade casserole filled with butter and marshmallow topping, this sweet and delectable option is going to be a great source to keep you on top of your diet.
Give your plate some color and make sure that you’re getting the proper ratio of protein, carbs, fats, and micronutrients to help you stay on course while still enjoying your dinner with the family.
Start off with some salad to help increase the volume of food so that you can keep yourself fuller on good foods without sacrificing your diet too much.
By taking in all of the above information, it’s still important to enjoy your time with family and celebrate the Holidays without overly stressing.
Creating stress can hinder progress and by worrying too much about what’s on your plate – you can cause yourself to overthink and have regrets.
If you take the smart approach by earning everything on your plate, you can feel confident about just enjoying the night.
Just don’t let the leftovers be an obstacle, get back to your regular diet the next day and you will be perfect on your way towards making the progress you want in the gym and with your overall health.