Ways to avoid the “turkey coma” during the holidays

Ways to avoid the “turkey coma” during the holidays
Tips to eat healthy during the holidays (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -The holidays are just around the corner and with it come our favorite meals.

Nutrition and Fitness Specialists at St. Bernards Health and Wellness in Jonesboro want to make sure Region 8 resident are aware of some healthy alternatives to the “turkey coma”.

Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor Nancy Owens said helping people stay healthy is near and dear to her heart.

“I talk with people all the time about finding real life ways to keep moving and keep thinking and keep their mind in the game for their fitness,” Owens said. “To think about their well being and their overall wellness. Be kind to yourself. We attach so much emotion to our food. Often times we feel guilty for even thinking about indulging. We already start to think it’s going to be this disaster, I’m going to eat so much. So, be kind to yourself. Know that you’re going to want to indulge in some special things and pick out the things that really matter. Maybe your mothers stuffing is your favorite thing it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. Maybe it’s a piece of pumpkin pie. Pick out those one or two indulgences and enjoy those and then do everything else you can right.”

Fitness Specialist and Group Fitness Instructor Leslie Wester said it’s not realistic to think you’re not going to eat your favorite things on a holiday like Thanksgiving.

However, there are a few tips she had that can help keep people from overdoing it.

“Drink a big glass of water about 20 minutes prior to eating,” Wester said. “And don’t sabotage yourself by not eating all day in anticipation of the Thanksgiving meal. Because what you do is your blood sugar drops and then you have not restraint at all because you’re famished, and your body thinks that it’s starving.”

Owens said to focus on the things you can do right.

“Continue to eat vegetables and fruit and continue to get some of those nutrients,” Owens said. “A lot of people decide they’re going to skip breakfast or skip lunch and save all my calories for my Thanksgiving meal. This is the wrong thing to do. You go into the meal staving. Then you just eat everything in site. So, do everything you can right. Get moving, eat some breakfast, go ahead and get those nutrients and veggies and then go into the meal with your head on straight. Don’t just go crazy.”

Wester also said to have your first helping of food and then distract yourself with something else before going back for a second helping.

“Go for some of the plant-based foods that aren’t covered in heavy creams and sauces,” Wester said. “If you’re attending a Thanksgiving dinner, bring some roasted vegetables so you know you’re getting at least one healthy thing.”

Owens said to take your time and enjoy what you put on your plate.

“Get a little bit of everything,” Owens said. “Taste it, enjoy it and slow down. Then go back for the one of two things you really love. Allow yourself some indulgences but don’t make it all weekend long. Let it be an indulgent meal or an indulgent day, but not an indulgent four days.”

Both Owens and Wester also advised that you get some exercise during the day.

pic of person working out at St. Berndards Health and Wellness (Source: KAIT-TV)
pic of person working out at St. Berndards Health and Wellness (Source: KAIT-TV) (Source: KAIT-TV)

Take a walk or participate in an activity with friends and family.

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