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Guys and gals, the Thanksgiving holiday is only two days away! Often times we just don't know where to begin when we have so many options, so let's navigate our tables. We can all cheers to that!

Skipping meals before your Thanksgiving dinner to "save up" calories in your calorie bank is a no no

Go about your meals like you normally do. Eat your hearty breakfast with plenty of fiber and protein and a fuel packed light lunch. Depriving yourself can result in over-eating and making bad choices when the food hits the table. 

ADD to your calorie bank with exercise

You have the day off, or maybe even the week, so let's take (only) 20-30 minutes and increase that heart rate and sweat out toxins. There are a number of great workouts that can be done in a short amount of time, such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) and compound exercise. The combination of two movements in one during compound exercise is great for increasing your heart rate and calorie burning potential. Some examples of compound exercise include: plank + dumbbell row, squat + jumping jack, lunge + bicep curls, squat + shoulder press, etc. For more compound exercises shoot me an email with your questions, and for more HIIT exercises check out my Instagram page @maddisonstrefffit. 

Now let's talk food, starting with the appetizers and hors d'oeuvres (oh you fancy, huh?)

This can make -or- break your meal ladies and gentleman. I use the appetizers to fill that hungry edge just enough that I don't go into dinner wanting to eat a leg, unless it's white meat turkey of course. HA! Skip out on the dressings and dips that you're not quite sure of to avoid extra unwanted calories. Go for more protein and fiber rich foods to satisfy your hunger, such as raw fruits and veggies, light cheeses, and also nuts in moderation (those calories can add up quick).

The 80/20 rule

It's time for the dinner and you're in line with a bazillion choices ahead of you. Oh crap. Then we remember the 80/20 rule of filling our plates 80% with healthy choices like white meat turkey and a big salad with roasted veggies and 20% of side dishes that aren't so healthy. This way we don't overdo it on the calories, but we are also satisfied! 

but drinks and desserts are important too...

Of course they are! If you are looking for drinks easy on the gut opt for a very distilled liquor and soda water or red wine to keep the bloat and calories down. As for dessert, pies are the most abundant at Thanksgiving. Opting for choices like pumpkin or sweet potato pie over apple and pecan can save a lot of calories from fat and sugar. Add fresh fruit instead of whip. 

At the end of the day, moderation is the key to a successfully delicious Thanksgiving day. Enjoy time with family and friends, and Happy Thanksgiving.