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Tips to survive Thanksgiving

Thursday November 23, 2017

“The only thing that is getting a workout this holiday week is my stretchy pants” 
According to research from the Calorie Control Council, a typical holiday dinner alone can have 3,000 calories. Having some seconds and something off your brother’s plate and you get through another 1,500 calories, downing appetizers and drinks before and after the big meal would bring the total to more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat. Thats right, Americans may consume more than 4,500 calories at their Thanksgiving dinner. Do you remember how hard it is to get 60 calories on the rower? Ya. Keep that in mind. 
Here are a few tips to help you survive Thanksgiving but still enjoy the day with your family and friends. 

1. Eat a good breakfast. Start the day off by putting good nutrition in your body. The idea of “saving space for later” isn’t real, though we also wish it would be. Actually, by not eating breakfast, your body realizes it needs to save energy and therefore slows your metabolism down (we are ancestors of cavemen who would go long periods of time without eating, so our bodies learned how to stay alive!) This slowing of your metabolism will hurt you more than skipping breakfast will help you when it comes to the big meal. Aim for protein to keep you fuller longer. Idea: egg scramble with 2 eggs/egg whites, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and a piece of toast or side of fruit.

2. Drink water early. Begin to hydrate yourself in the morning before the festivities begin. Thanksgiving offers a naturally high sodium menu. Combat that by loading up early on water. Bonus, when your stomach is full of water you feel less hungry, so you end up eating less calories. Also, it will help if your hangover the next day if you have happen to have a little alcohol with your Holiday.
3. Exercise! Your metabolism burns higher during/after you exercise, so make it a point to sweat the morning of Thanksgiving. CFL offers classes at 8am and 9am. If that doesn’t fit your schedule, go run a couple miles. Still don’t have time for that? 100 burpees for time. Tabata air squats and push ups. 21-15-9 burpees and sit ups. All 3 of those options require minimal time and NO equipment! Get a quick workout in before you take a shower and you’ll feel better all day.

4. Beware of the appetizers.
Some of the tiniest appetizers can pack a lot of calories. Its a good idea to never stand in front of the appetizer table. Grab a cocktail plate and pick what you’re going to eat. Your brain feels much more satiated when it sees all of the food you’re eating at once.

5. Stack your plate as full as you like
, but never go for seconds. When our brain sees a full plate, it automatically understands how much we ate and we feel fuller when we are done. When we don’t plate our food, and just eat out of the serving dish/go for seconds, our brain does not keep track of that food as easily. Eventually, you will feel that incredibly uncomfortable unbutton your pants feeling, but that usually takes ~20 minutes. Try to plate your food with non-sauced vegetables (green bean casserole doesn’t count), and lean pieces of turkey, then some of your favorites with the rest of the room. Eat your vegetables first, and SLOW, and your brain will stay caught up with you.

6. Enjoy dessert!
It’s the Holidays and you’ve earned it, but beware.  You can blow a lot of calories on a giant piece of pie. You can save calories, and still really enjoy a smaller piece of pie. If your host insists on giving you a large piece, cut it down into 1/4 of that size on your plate and enjoy your share. It’s much easier to eat less when you can visually see where your end is.


7. Eat slow! One of those things you always here but probably never do. Set your fork down between each bite. Let your brain catch up with you, and enjoy time with your family and friends. Taste your food, I mean really taste it. Each bite! Someone spent a lot of time creating that meal, so be thankful and don’t rush through it.

8. Drink water again, more than you think. It will help you digest, help flush some of that sodium out, and help you feel better in the morning. Then, keep in mind CFL is open at 8, 9 and 10 on Friday! 🙂

Common Thanksgiving Foods and their devilish calories:

(Depending on how these are prepared the calorie count can change:)
1 Crab Cake- 160 calories
2 tbsp. Spinach Artichoke Dip- 115 cal
1 deviled egg- 150 cal
1 serving cocktail weenies- 195 cal
2 tbsp. Cheeseball- 245 cal 
Roasted Turkey (no skin)- 4 oz. (4 slices)- 190 cal
Baked Ham- 3oz. (4 slices)- 345 cal
1 piece Cornbread- 150 cal
1 cup Cornbread Stuffing- 365 cal
1 cup sweet potato casserole- 275 cal
1 cup mashed potatoes- 250 cal
1 cup green bean cassorole- 145 cal
1 cup green beans- 20 cal
1/2 cup cranberry sauce- 210 cal
1 bread roll with butter- 250 cal
1 glass wine/beer- 120 cal
1 piece cheesecake (1/12 of a 9’’ cake)- 415 calories
1 cup apple crisp- 400- al
1 piece pumpkin pie- 325 cal
1 piece pumpkin pie- 455 cal
1 cup ice cream- 275 cal