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Fit For Life: Don’t Be A Turkey…

Sunday, November 19, 2017


It's Thanksgiving, but I am going to stick to my guns. I am making and bringing to my family a Brussels Sprout platter and a sugar free dessert. I won't have mashed potatoes or stuffing. I am not going to eat badly on that day. Right?

Ha!  I bet I had you going now, didn’t I?  You’re thinking that because I am a trainer this would be true, but everything I just wrote is really just one big lie. Because I am going to cheat and enjoy doing it - and you should also. It doesn't make sense to stress yourself out and ruin your day. You are spending time with family and should enjoy it. What? You think that a personal trainer who always preaches eating healthy is telling you to go ahead and cheat? Yes! That’s right. Because you are lying to yourself if you think you can make it through a holiday with such delicious food at hand – like my favorite - homemade apple pie - and not cheat. I am not going to fight homemade pecan pie, homemade sweet potato casserole, or any other delicious dessert item I may encounter. I am going to enjoy this day and not be concerned about over indulging. But, as with most good things, they come to an end. So, by the end of the day, it will. And here are some tips to get you through that day, without totally losing it, and find your way back on track the next day.


At dinnertime, fill your plate with vegetables and turkey first then, add the sweet starchy carbs after. You will eat fewer calories and still enjoy the heavy stuff. After dinner, wait a few minutes before having dessert. Stand up and stretch out, maybe go for a walk. Watch some football. Then, for dessert, have small pieces, and just sample the spread. Don't take home leftovers or extra dessert. Do not let this binge carry over until Monday. If you take leftovers home, take the healthy stuff like vegetables and turkey and not those desserts that will be on your counter, and in your presence after Thursday.

The “day after” workout! Lift some weights. Go to Providence Fit Body Boot Camp for a fat burning muscle- building workout. Your muscles will feed off the glycogen from all the carbs and sugar you ate. You may get the best workout you’ve ever had. Whatever you do, do not let yourself fall into a rut. Do not throw your arms in the air and say I’ll let the weekend go and start again on Monday. You must get back on track the very next day.

Have a plan. Remember how long it took to accomplish results, and how important that’s been to you, so be careful you do not throw those results away in a few days. Let's be realistic folks, you may try but it is unlikely to stay on your nutrition plan for the holidays. But you can control the damage and keep weight gain to a minimum. You do that by getting back on track and continue your routine. Work out on Thursday, if you can, but definitely on Friday. At least you will burn a lot of the calories you consumed. Remember Friday is a weekday, but many people have it off - but do not consider it an extension of Thursday. Thanksgiving is a one-day holiday. So, when it’s over, resume eating like you do on your weekly routine, and maintaining your healthy habits. Hope these tips will help you, and keep you from sabotaging your progress. Enjoy the day, everyone – be thankful for family and friends. And for your health!

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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