Thanksgiving is almost upon us. This glorious tradition began in 1621 with Governor William Bradford and later was declared a national holiday by George Washington in 1789 :-). It is hard to find an older tradition than humans coming together and feasting. Getting together, enjoying good food and family is always a celebration. However, it is easy for us especially during Thanksgiving to overdo the festivities and set ourselves back and have regrets after the holidays.

How many calories do you consume during a Thanksgiving meal?

I’m not going to lie, this is going to terrify you. The average Thanksgiving meal contains at least 3,000 calories and a little over 200 grams of fat. And that’s just one indulgent meal. How many of you, including myself, snack and graze throughout the entire day? Yep, that’s a lot of stinking calories.

To give you a better perspective I’m just  going to quote Dr. Cedric Bryant, ACE chief exercise physiologist. “160 lb person would have to run at a moderate pace for 4 hours, swim for 5 hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3000 calorie Thanksgiving meal. Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4500 calories.”  How crazy is that!?

It’s hard for me to even imagine how many calories I consume…I am kind of a beast :-). And that’s saying something, but for the average person it would take them a ton of time to burn off 3000 calories. With that said, I want to give you some tips to help you not consume as many calories.

My hope in doing so is that you kind of regret proof your Thanksgiving day and you don’t digress as much as the typical person.  Also, as many of you know, I’ve been losing weight preparing for Thanksgiving Day.  As of the date of me writing this I was 4 pounds away from my goal of 213. I have been following my Four-Week Holiday Dash strategy and so far it is working.

Thanksgiving Day TIPS to help you battle the bulge:

As I mentioned, you don’t have to get rid of all your holiday favorites. You can relax a bit and leave a little room for some indulgences on a super awesome holiday feast. The “secret” is you have to have a plan going into the holidays. You need to continue to watch your calorie intake (the amount of food you are eating) and continue to exercise. In doing so, you will be able to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation and still come out on the other side maintaining weight or or if you’re really awesome losing some. With that, let’s get to the tips.

  • Plan your meals and look at the big picture. This is basically the strategy I use now. I  know that I am going to be consuming some pretty heavy calorie-dense meals in the upcoming days. So, over the last four weeks I have limited the amount of food I intake to help keep my diet balanced out. I don’t skip meals and neither should you, but I do make them lighter and I make sure to include plenty of healthy low-calorie foods, mainly protein and produce. As an example, if I’m going to have a big lunch like at Thanksgiving, I’m going to eat a much smaller breakfast and dinner.
  • Exercise…keep moving. The last thing you want to do is make your metabolism slow down. If you are active it is an easy way to keep your body burning calories that you are consuming. The best way to burn more calories is not running, it is not a jogging, it is not doing cardio. The best way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time is strength training. Why? Even after your strength sessions  have ended your metabolism remains high. Which means you burn more calories even after you finish strength training. For those of you that think that you can’t do strength-training I’m going to shatter your worldview and make your time at the in-laws productive. Because here are some strength training moves you can do on your own with no equipment.
    • Push-ups. Push-ups are perfect! You can do them anywhere. You can do them on your knees, you can do them on your feet, you can do them elevated, you can do them against the wall, I think you get the point. As you get stronger you should gradually move to doing harder and harder versions of push-ups. But the point is this is a strength move that you can do anywhere to get progressively stronger and burn more calories faster.
    • Lunges :-). Lunges are super easy to do. Those of you who train with me know exactly what that feels like. Once again, easy strength training move you can do anywhere. And for extra credit you can grab some dumbbells, a suitcase, or some milk cartons to make it harder.
    • Squats. Squats are another easy move that you can do anywhere. You just sit down and then you stand up, sit down, stand up. If that’s too easy see how many you can do in a minute or two. To make it tougher, add some weight, a suitcase, a backpack full of books, some dumbbells, etc. Make those legs smile.
    • Step-ups. Casey and Laura just screamed a little bit :-). I have been told step-ups are from the Devil. The thing is, step-ups are great for your legs and your quads and once again are an easy strength training move you can do anywhere. Just find the nearest step and…step up and step down, step dup, step down. Once again, to make it harder and more effective just add weight, anything that you can find. A small child will work in this case.

In closing, there is no need to pack on pounds this Thanksgiving if you have a strategy and or if you followed my Four-Week Holiday Dash. You’re prepared for the big day : -). These are some other tactics that you can use to be madly successful and guilt-free over Thanksgiving and ultimately over the holidays.

Now go be awesome!

KELLEN LAKE – I am ready, are you? Are you ready to sit down and discuss your strategy? Sign-up for a free training session and we can sit down and design I customized program for Just You!


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