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How to Recover from a Thanksgiving Food Coma and Fight the Bulge in December

Carolyn Alburger | November 28, 2013 | Lifestyle Story City Life

“In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, generally people fall off a fitness cliff,” says Leo Shveyd, founder of Advance Wellness in the Inner Richmond. “You show up at the gym in January and you work until February to get back to where you were before the holidays.” Shveyd doesn’t sugar coat his approach to fitness (or much of his food, I’m sure). We tapped him and a few other local fitness pros for helpful tips to get you through the holidays in the same pant size.

Tips from Robbi and Leo Shveyd, co-founders of Advance Wellness:

Don’t overdo it at the Thanksgiving meal.
“Start with a moderate portion of turkey and put a small spoonful of every single side dish on your plate. That way you get to taste everything and don't feel deprived. After you finish that plate, wait at least 20 minutes before considering seconds. Typically this is the amount of time it takes for your stomach to register fullness. Nine times out of ten, you will decide there is not more room.”

Clean Internal House on Friday

Eat a diet with no wheat, sugar, dairy or alcohol. Do that for a couple of days and you are back in business. I think that is an awesome daily strategy during the holiday season between social engagements. If you want to make it easier, order from the special allergen-free menu designed by Jane on Fillmore. You can pick up breakfast, lunch and dinner options at Advance Wellness too.”

On Friday, get in one more workout.
“Reset yourself into your normal routine immediately. The worst thing you can do is turn Thanksgiving day into Thanksgiving weekend, which turns into the holidays and new years. Next thing you know, you wake up in January ten pounds heavier, and you have to spend the first two month of the year getting back to your starting point. In short, get back to your routine as fast as you can and maintain it through the holiday season!”

Schedule your workouts.
“Put your workouts in your calendar to create accountability. Once you show-up, give your best effort!”

Tips from Jen Pattee, founder of Basic Training:

Go sightseeing every day.
“Instead of trying to work off the 2000 to 3000 calories you consumed on turkey day, make a pledge to walk 10,000 steps a day between now and New Year’s Day. Track it using UP band or Fitbit Consider walking to or from work. Volunteer as a dog walker at an animal shelter. You'll be amazed at how fast the steps add up, and how quickly it becomes part of your new routine.”

Run every day.
“It's simple, free, and it doesn't matter how far or how long. Just run until you get tired. Then walk. The single most important concept when it comes to maintaining your ideal body weight is consistency in how often you move. Too many people focus on performance: how far, how long, how many miles. Don't worry about performance. Just get out there every day. If you're a numbers or gadget person, Strava is a great tool to track your progress.”

“People who get six hours or less of sleep per night tend to weigh more than those who get seven or eight. So move more, rest more, and you'll be off to a great 2014.”

Reach out.
“People are more likely to stick to fitness goals if they do them with friends and significant others, or in conjunction with a cause that's important to them. While you are sitting around digesting food, plot like an anaconda and register for a race in 2014. Consider a half-marathon somewhere you can combine as a getaway weekend with friends. Spend a half-day volunteering in the Presidio or planting trees with Friends of the Urban Forest. Or sign up with a friend for a six-week fitness program like ours

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