Don’t Gobble ‘Til You Wobble!

The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone (according to the Caloric Control Council). That’s 3 DAYS’ worth of calories in just one day for a lot of us!

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of feasting with family, then crashing in front of the TV while the calories do their damage on our bodies. While I am all for enjoying and indulging on Thanksgiving Day, I think it’s important to know just what price we will ultimately have to pay for that huge calorie overload!

What a workout looks like to burn those Thanksgiving meal calories

Just to put it into perspective, here is a workout Chris and I put together for a friend of ours who was looking to burn just 3,750 calories:

  • 6 mile run
  • 50 box jumps (24″ box)
  • 50 jumping pull ups
  • 50 kettle ball swings (50 lbs)
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 50 knees to elbow, hanging from bar
  • 50 push press (45 lbs)
  • 50 back extensions
  • 75 wall ball (10 lbs ball)
  • 50 burpees, with jump and clap above head
  • 50 double under
  • 5 mile run
  • 1400 meter swim (.86 miles)

When you are done with this, you would still need to burn another 750 calories, or more, to equal the number of calories consumed. You could add an extra hour of slow jogging. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?!

Tips to NOT overeat this Thanksgiving

To help keep your calories in check (and avoid having to do the workout above to burn those consumed calories!), here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Stay hydrated to avoid confusing your body into thinking it’s hungry.
  • Eat breakfast, and every 3 hours thereafter until your Thanksgiving meal. Don’t starve to save room for later.
  • Use sugar substitutes instead of sugar when cooking (Stevia is our sweetener of choice).
  • Choose non-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk over 2% or whole milk for Thanksgiving dishes.
  • Drink water or naturally sweetened beverages over sugary drinks. Drinking alcohol? Try limiting to one glass.
  • Indulge, but in moderation. 🙂
  • Play! Enjoy your day by staying active with friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Related reading:

A Powell Twist on Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Is Over—Now What? Moves to Get You Back in the Grind!
Tasty Thanksgiving Vegetarian Side Dish || Kale Sweet Potato Salad
I Don’t Mean to Brag, But—My Thanksgiving’s Gonna Be Amazing || 10 Tips for a Guilt-Free Turkey Day
DIY Thanksgiving Placemats

12 Responses

  1. Good morning!
    I have a question about canned pumpkin! Is it considered a vegetable? And would it be considered one of those unlimited vegetables?
    Thank you so much!

  2. Heidi,
    First I must say I love you and Chris. You inspire me everyday.
    Well here is my story …..after two kids, daughter is 16 and son is 9, I gained a lot of weight during both pregnancies. I lost the weight over time with just eatibg right. I was left with a lot of loose skin and stretch marks…horrible look at. So in 2010 I started working out. as weeks went on i worked out more and more. Best delicious I ever made. It never help my belly though. As much as I worked out it felt like I had more loose skin. Doing push ups were so depressing because the skills n would just hang. Finally I had it. So I asked my husband if he was ok with me see a plastic surgeon. He was ok and even went with me. I like my the surgeon and we scheduled surgery. I’m two day out of surgery and I must say I’m one strong cookie because this is one experience I will never forget. Wish I would though. Do you and Chris any advice on getting healthy again …helping the healing process and foods I shoukd stick.
    Any advice woukd help during this time.

  3. Thanks for sharing this- I started a weight loss plan in mid September (down 20 lbs with 30 to go) and am going to try so hard not to overindulge (I’m a mashed potato & corn mixed together lover as well) and to stick to my workouts during this holiday season. Posts like this keep me going!

  4. You guys do a great job. I have chrohns and a hiatal hernia so these obstacles prevent me from pigging out and eating too much. I only eat three times a day and no in between stuff.
    I workout with a good friend of mine and getting stronger and losing weight. I am trying to lose another 15 pounds and go back for another cholesterol check sometime in January.
    I weight 175 and the stats say that I need to lose 13 pounds to be at my target weight.
    I am thankfully able to be up and around without too much pain. I get into agriculture projects and mow. A lot during the spring and summer. Fall gets me raking the leaves and being active till winter gets here.
    I enjoy working out and also take a lot of walks to help with weight control. I am 26,whoops
    56, but feel the best I have felt in my life.
    Enjoy watching you guys on TV. Keep up the good work. Any suggestions please let me know.
    I do put A little sugar in my coffee I. The morning. I drink a little Starbucks too and I have got to cut that out.
    I will try to drink coffee without sugar tomorrow and a
    See how that is. I use skim milk for cooling the coffee down.
    Any suggestions please let me know. Have. A Great Thanks giving to you and Family.
    Jim Isley.

    1. Hi Jim: I’d suggest discussing Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” with your healthcare team so they can help you make any necessary modifications for your health issues. Their program, which is the same one they use on the show, can work no matter how many pounds you’d like to lose. Here’s a post on the nutrition basics: You can do this!

  5. I’m going to say I’m really good on stopping when I’m full and I know not to go overboard on the indulging for sure. It’s going to be a great thanksgiving and just wanted to say thank you Heidi for the wonderful tips too. Tomorrow is my guilt free day too so it works out perfectly. Plus I know that I can do some of that exercise on the list but not all. By the way what is a burpee to begin with. Anyway this is one person will indulge in moderation and definitely stay hydrated with plain and flavored water. Plus I’m surprised you didn’t give any tips on the alcohol consumption for people who like to drink on these occasions. Thanks again. Have a happy healthy and save thanksgiving to you and your family too.

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