Your 3 day guide to enjoying Thanksgiving without derailing your fitness.

Let’s face it we are going to overeat on Thanksgiving. 

If you are like me, this can lead to several days or (worse yet to weeks) of gaining weight, feeling like crap, and writing it off as okay because it is the “holiday season”.

Well I decided that this year I needed a actual plan to make sure I can enjoy Thanksgiving and still feel great. Here is a plan for you and me to navigate the next few days and come out feeling awesome.

Wednesday Afternoon:

Move: Get a workout in of your choice. Hiking, running, going to a class, look up a workout on Youtube and do it at home.

Dinner: Low Carb, Moderate Fat, Moderate Protein meal. Here are a couple ideas: 

Skirt Steak with Bok Choy

Big Bad Beef Skewers

Pesto Chicken Skillet

Note: Skip the alcohol. If you do need to take the edge off keep it lower alcohol content and low carb.

Thursday Morning:

Move: Get your Turkey Trot on or hit an epic hike with the family. Longer duration aerobic effort will jumpstart your day.

Breakfast: High Protein, low fat, low carb. You are going to be consuming a lot of calories later so using this mix Macro nutrients will help you feel full and keep your calorie count down. (Turkey Sausage, Spinach, Egg Wrap Recipe. Mmm mmm)

Thursday Afternoon:

Move Again: You likely have been sitting around watching football or catching up with family.

It’s time to pump some blood. Rally as many people as you can and go outside for an impromptu flag football game.

Or hit up a quick 10 minute AMRAP in the basement of 10 Burpees, 15 Sit-ups, and 20 Air Squats.

Imagine your sense of accomplishment hitting a second workout that day!!

Try to time this about 45 to 90 minutes prior to eating. You will go from feeling sluggish and tired to energized and great!

Lunch: Get your greens in now with a big salad. Lots of different colored veggies.

Thanksgiving Meal:

Cut loose. Enjoy it. To avoid feeling terrible almost immediately after eating there are a few tricks you can employ. 

  • Put less on your plate at the start (you can always get seconds and thirds).
  • Chew your food completely and swallow before loading your next bite and shoveling it in. (this is harder than it sounds but you can improve your chances by setting your fork and knife down between bites).
  • Wait 5 minutes before reloading your plate.
Friday Morning:

Move: Hopefully you’ve implemented some of this advice and are feeling pretty good but maybe not. That’s alright. Either way go outside for an easy jog, walk, or hike. Bring water to sip on and have another big glass when you get back home.

Breakfast: Make an anti-inflammatory smoothie. – Frozen Mixed Berries, Almond butter, Almond Milk, and Spinach. Drink this plus a cup of green tea.

Alright if you’ve followed this protocol you should be pretty good to go. If you know you have a few more meals over the weekend that you are likely to overindulge on then make sure your other meals super clean and made up of mostly protein and veggies.

Lastly a few don’ts to keep in mind.

  • Try to punish yourself if you really overdid it by doing some torturous workout. This will likely lead to more inflammation, compromise your immune system and could even result in injury or illness.
  • Write off the rest of the weekend as a loss and dig yourself deeper into a hole. You can always get back on track with the next meal. The longer you put getting back on track off though the longer it will take to recover.
  • Be afraid to be the “weird” one or “health nut” or “fitness freak” or whatever people will say about you for doing things that they secretly wish they could do.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and if you end up following this protocol hit me up at ian@5valleyscrossfit and let me know how it goes.