Thanksgiving is a holiday full of
tradition, indulgence and, unfortunately, extra pounds! The average Thanksgiving meal equals 3,000 calories and 229 Grams of fat.
Consider a balance between limited caloric intake over several days and committing to a fitness regimen to stay healthy and trim through the holidays.
"A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal," said Dr. Cedric Bryant, The American Council on Exercise (ACE) chief exercise physiologist.
"Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4,500. All holiday delicacies can be
enjoyed so long as they're eaten in moderation and combined with a proper exercise plan."
Tips to Stay Fit
- You can make up for a feast of rich, higher-fat foods with lighter, lower-fat meals for the next couple of days. Plan for the big meal that day with a low-calorie, low-fat breakfast and lunch. Never skip meals, just limit them.
- Look back and assess your diet over the past few days by recording your caloric intake with a food diary. Have you been over-indulging at recent party feasts? Are there additional celebrations looming? Try eating sensibly in order to afford the extra calories come meal time.
- Don't panic or feel guilty if your diet seems to have gotten out of hand. When you balance your intake over several days, you have ample time to regain control.
- Make physical activity a regular habit. Beyond burning calories, exercise is essential for good health, stress management (oftentimes a challenge during the busy holiday season) and overall well-being.
- Working out consistently will help jump-start your metabolism allowing you to burn more of those calories from your holiday binge.
- Have a salad, light soup or some fruit and veggies before leaving home or prior to your meal. This way you will feel fuller and less likely to overeat.
- Select only your favorite foods at a holiday buffet and let other guests enjoy traditional fare like nuts, rolls and sweet potatoes.
- Space out the party beverages -- have a glass of sparkling water after a glass of wine or cup of eggnog.
- Practice portion control. A smaller serving of the real thing can be very satisfying and calorie-trimming.