7 Tips To Keep Your Thanksgiving Calories In Check
According to research from the Calorie Control Council the average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving (3,000 for the meal and 1,500 for snacks and drinks) and 229 grams of fat. Holy Weight Gain Bat Man!
Recently I was asked how to handle holiday eating, especially when other family members have no interest whatsoever in being healthy.
Here are some ideas…
7 Tips to Keep Your Thanksgiving Calories in Check
- Front load your fitness.
Thanksgiving is at the end of the month, so use this beginning part of November to drop a few pounds. Now is the time to log in those minutes on the treadmill! The very quickest way to drop some weight without changing too much is to drink a gallon of water per day and double your vegetable intake. The water and fiber will make you feel fuller and will flush out the toxins in your body.
- Are you cooking?
If you are then you have a lot of control over the calorie count. There are lots of healthy recipes online that you can try out and some simple substitutions will help your waistline considerably. For example, I use butter flavor spray instead of the real thing (zero calories!) and use Splenda instead of sugar. Let your kids help you cut up vegetables instead of serving up chips.
- Make the order of the food count. It takes about 20 minutes from the point where food enters your system to the time your brain registers that it is full, so use the clock to your advantage. Start with a glass of water before the meal. When you get your food eat the protein (turkey) first, followed by the vegetables. By the time you finish these healthier items you will start to feel full. Eat the carbs (bread, mashed potatoes, stuffing) last so you’ll eat less of them, since unused carbs go directly to fat storage.
- Chew sugar-free gum. Why eat 1,500 calories of chip n’ dip when you don’t have to? Sugarless gum keeps your mouth occupied so you’re not mindlessly noshing on what’s in front of you as you watch the game. If gum isn’t your thing, and you want to crunch something along with everyone else try dill pickles or an apple.
- Alcohol. Nothing packs on sneaky calories more than cocktails, especially since you might lose track how many glasses you’re drinking throughout the day. Set some reasonable limits on yourself. Clear liquor (i.e. – vodka) is the go-to alcohol in terms of dieters, but personally I like a glass or two of red wine, which is (arguably) heart-healthy in moderation. Where people get into trouble are those mixed cocktails where the glass is first dipped in sugar or salt and the alcohol is mixed with soda at 140 calories a glass.
- Savor the dessert. As with alcohol, you should set limits on the dessert you eat. Some people think you should take a thin slice of pie or cake or whatever, and there is definitely something to be said about portion size, but where’s the fun in that? Rather than take a small slice and then feel deprived so you end up taking three more, just take a regular slice of what you want and thoroughly enjoy it. Close your eyes when you bite in. Take your time to really taste the flavors instead of woofing it down. And then step away from the table 😉
- Leftovers. Leftover turkey sandwiches are amazing but do you really need high calorie Thanksgiving meal flashbacks for the next two weeks? Make enough food to feed your family, not an army. Give leftovers away to your company. You can also donate leftovers to your local firefighters. Aim to get everything out of your fridge by Cyber Monday.
Hope that helps!
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Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on Bowflex.com. She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Texas Monthly. She blogs at ShesLosingIt.com and is passionate about her clients.
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