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Fit For Life: Eat Drink and Be Thankful

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving to my family - that's my Dad, Richard Frey, at left.

It's Thanksgiving time. But let’s not stress ourselves out by trying – too hard – to avoid eating all those favorite and traditional foods with our family.  Grilled vegetables and sugar free desserts might be part of your celebration (and should!), but if they aren’t, go ahead and enjoy yourself – in moderation – on that one day.  People think that because I am a trainer, I don’t cheat at all, and that’s just not true.  I’m going to enjoy myself with friends and family.  I’m not going to stress myself out so that I don’t enjoy the day.  So, you shouldn’t either.  I’m not going to fight homemade pecan pie, homemade sweet potato casserole, or a  delicious dessert I may encounter. I am going to enjoy this day and not be concerned about overindulging. But there’s an end to it – and it starts the next day.  

Turkey Day Tips.

So that you can enjoy – with moderation – here are some tips so you don’t go TOO overboard. Fill your plate with vegetables and turkey first then add the sweet starchy carbs after. You will eat less calories and still enjoy the heavy stuff. Stay away as much as you can from the bread based foods like stuffing, bread, crackers etc.  These items have the most empty calories of all.  Offer to help clean off the table and get up and move around after dinner. Wait awhile before having dessert . Stand up and stretch out, maybe go for a walk together. Watch some football. Did you know that it takes about 30 minutes for your brain to process that you’ve eaten and that satiated feeling to tell you you’re really full?  So, give your brain time to work. Then, go for some dessert - in small pieces.  If you’re a guest at someone’s house and they try to offer you leftovers – or extra pie – just say no!  That will help you avoid carrying this binge over to the weekend.  If you do take leftovers, take the healthy stuff like vegetables and turkey.

The Morning After

The next day – work out! Lift some weights, come 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 ever. Do not throw your arms in the air and say I'll start again on Monday, and have that one day celebration turn into four. You must get back on track the very next day – you’ll burn a lot of the calories you consumed. And you’ll feel so much better for it – physically and mentally.  

The Reason for the Season

Remember what time of year this really is!  A time to get together with family and friends that you don't get to see on a regular basis, a time of being close with the ones we love and care about, a time to give thanks, a time of relaxing and getting that warm feeling that the holidays bring.  Don’t sabotage those good intentions by thinking it’s about stuffing yourself with too much food and falling off your program.  Remember – you want to be there for many years for your family and loved ones – so the best thing you can do is to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle – and encourage those around you to join you in that holiday gift you can make to each other.  

For YOU!

For more tips on keeping the weight off during the holidays you can download a free Thanksgiving Survival Guide, with lots of great tips, recipes, and more, here:  http://bit.ly/1NgzvBV - and, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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 two fitness centers on the east coast. 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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