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The Thanksgiving holiday consisted of food, food, and more food. You’re probably reminiscing about Thursday, stuffing your face with turkey, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, stuffing, and many more dishes until your stomach screamed: "STOP!" 

After tossing your health and diet to the side for Thanksgiving, here are five ways you can get back on track following the vast feast. 

Get back to your regular eating schedule 

Following the second, third, and sometimes fourth Thanksgiving dinner plates, you might be tempted to skip meals. However, according to Health.com, that can force your body to shift into burning fewer calories. 

Eat regular meals to maximize metabolism, regulate blood sugar, insulin levels, and hunger hormones. Try eating breakfast an hour after waking up, and the rest of your remaining meals three to five hours apart. 

Balance it out

Don’t go overboard with cutting calories. Health.com suggests cooking non-starchy vegetables, like asparagus, cabbage, spinach, and mushrooms. Pair the veggies with lean protein, a few healthy fats, and a small portion of slow-burning starch.

Cutting back on carbs, but not cutting them out completely, will help level one’s energy and hunger. For each meal, aim for a third to a half cup of whole food carbs like whole grains and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, etc.). 

Got Water? 

Let’s face it, family time can include a sip of your favorite alcoholic beverage, but if you tend to go overboard, slow down following Thanksgiving. Water will hydrate your body and flush the body to help eliminate toxins and fattening, calorie-dense Thanksgiving dishes, according to TracyDeniseFitness.com. Set a goal of drinking 2-2.5 liters of water a day, or 8 glasses. 

Work it out

Beyonce once said, “You gotta work it out."  When it comes to keeping one’s body in shape, Bey doesn’t miss the mark. Yes, fellas, this applies to you too. Following Thanksgiving, get that body back in the gym to keep your metabolism working to burn extra calories.

Skinnyfitalicious.com reported that exercising will make you feel more energized after a massive day of eating. If you plan to shop for Black Friday-the day after Thanksgiving, this will be needed. You might be on your feet all day from shopping. Shape.com and Bodybuilding.com have a list of post-Thanksgiving workouts to help with your fitness plan. 

Keep track of your progress

Track your activity progress and eating habits with a wellness journal, Cookinglight.com, published. The journal allows one to see current habits and trends in terms of food and exercise. Struggle with accountability? The journal will help keep you aware of what you’re eating. Record estimated portion sizes and time spent exercising. If writing isn’t your forte, keep notes on your phone. 

Sierra Porter covers entertainment for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at sporter@registermedia.com.

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