Okay, okay a million is a little dramatic, but gaining weight and binging on Thanksgiving is accurate.
Believe me, I get it. I come from a long line of people who know how to cook and are incredibly passionate about good food.
Going home for Thanksgiving is like entering Disneyland for my belly. Every single dish is incredible and since I’m an only child there is always an over-abundance of leftovers since we end up cooking for a family of 8 (easily).
Needless to say, there’s no way I could sit here and just say, “Eat less!” as I’ve seen a handful of trainers online say. Eat less? Are you kidding? Have you tried a homemade raspberry and peach pie? GTFO.
Also, keep in mind that gaining a pound or two will not destroy your life. I’ve always felt that enjoying food and time with family is always more important than depriving yourself. Unless you’re prepping for a contest, that’s a whole different situation.
Thankfully, there are ways you can help your body prepare for the calories you’re about to eat. Supposedly, the average person eats around 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, if that gives you any idea.
Here are two, right off the bat from Jim Stoppani, and then we’ll dive into the rest.
1. Cut your carbs early in the week.
2. Try intermittent fasting.
3. Make things from scratch.
Even looking at MyFitness pal at the difference between a homemade and a store bought pie shows a difference of 30 calories. While that may not seem like a lot, that can add up over the course of an entire day (let’s be real: an entire weekend) of eating.
Also, that’s just a generic example. Maybe instead of apple pie you make a different type of pie: a list of the different types of pies and calories.
Out of all the dishes, I read that the green bean casserole actually has some of the most calories out of all the traditional Thanksgiving options, so maybe you switch that for something else.
4. Keep exercising.
This is the big thing that people overlook. They completely quit exercising for the year and swear to start up again in the new year.
If you’ve already decided to binge over the holiday, just decide to start bulking for the season and lift heavy enough to where you actually make that happen. Some tips: read on.
Go hiking. Go snowboarding. Lift weights. Play some football with your family. Keep active don’t just sit on the couch. Take advantage of how empty the gym is during November and December.
5. Drink more water.
I know, this sounds simple. Also, please note I do not mean drink more alcohol, I mean drink actual water. When you work on drinking enough water between rounds of food, you’ll feel full. This, coupled with taking the time to chew your food and eat slower, will prevent that painful oops-I-binged stomach pain.
Keep it simple! Don’t complicate this, and most of all don’t beat yourself up if you binge hard. Spending time with family and finding ways to give back to the world this holiday season is way more important than anything else.
Also, in case I don’t say it enough, thank you for reading this article or any articles I’ve ever written. It means a lot and I am incredibly grateful.