Four Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

If you have ever left Thanksgiving dinner more stuffed than the turkey you ate, raise your hand. It’s true. We are probably all guilty from overdoing it around Thanksgiving time. While the food may have been delicious, we are certainly regretting the calories when it comes time to zip up our jeans.

It is very common for Americans to gain on average 5-10 pounds by the time that New Year’s Day rolls around. However, just because that is the norm for our society does not mean that you have to be affected. Try these tips to avoid a gut-busting Thanksgiving.

  1. Keep Your “Cheats” to One Day: The weight gain does not come about from one day of overdoing it. The weight gain comes from a whole week (or two) of eating goodies and leftovers. So if you spend a week eating high-calorie Thanksgiving foods, then spend two to three weeks eating Christmas goodies, then yes, your pants are going to be tight. Instead, keep to a healthy diet for every day, and allow yourself to eat what you wish for the meal of Thanksgiving. Don’t take any leftovers home, and resume a healthy diet the day after.
  2. Eat a Good Breakfast (and Lunch): Many people will make the mistake of eating nothing the day of Thanksgiving to allow for their high-caloric dinner. This is a mistake for several reasons. First off, it can keep your metabolism from working as it needs to. Secondly, it prevents you from making wise food decisions. When you feel like you are starving, you are more likely going to overdo it at your next meal. Instead, eat a high protein breakfast, such as eggs and cottage cheese. Then for lunch, eat a light, but satisfying meal, such as vegetable soup with a half of sandwich. This way you can sit own to Thanksgiving dinner with a healthy appetite, without being overly hungry.
  3. Focus on the Turkey: If turkey is the main attraction for your dinner, then you should make it the main attraction on your plate. Have a large serving of turkey with smaller servings of the sides unless steamed vegetables are available. Since turkey is higher in protein, it is bound to satisfy you and fill you up over the carbohydrate-heavy mashed potatoes.
  4. Get Active at Some Point: Another way to help your metabolism out for Thanksgiving Day is to get moving. A quick HIIT workout before the meal or a 20-minute walk afterwards can help offset some of the calories. If your family or friends are into football, why not play a game in the yard.

No one is telling you to pass up your Aunt’s famous stuffing this year. Instead, enjoy these foods, but follow the above tips to enjoy zipping up your pants comfortably, as well.


Remember to always consult a physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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