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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Conquer Thanksgiving Like A Boss

Turkey day is upon us. Otherwise known as the holy grail of family, friends, and feasting of American holidays.  Thanksgiving Day is probably my favorite holiday each year filled with a great deal of food and a significant amount of alcohol waiting to be sipped upon. For those who are watching their weight, this day always seems to f*ck up your diet and  goals. But, hey don’t fret. Here’s your ultimate guide to negating the after effects of over indulging on Thanksgiving.

Turkey Dinner | www.TheFittestBlogger.com
Photo : HottyToddy

A few days before Thanksgiving

On the days leading up to thanksgiving, feel free to keep doing what you are doing at the gym. If you haven’t been going to the gym, then you might want to start. Anyhow, start off by cutting back on the portion sizes of your meals.

Keep it light, meaning that you should not keep eating until you are completely satisfied. Additionally, make sure to reduce or remove all forms of sugar and empty calories from your diet. Because simple sugars and floating carbs convert to glucose fast. And any extra glucose that your body doesn’t burn for energy in your cells turn into triglycerides.

Triglycerides are fat cells, so cut out food sources that are high in sugar such as candy, soda (That includes diet soda too!) cookies, jelly, any processed foods, alcohol, sweeteners, pumpkin spice lattes and his compadres, ketchup, BBQ sauce, ANY canned fruits, etc.

Without reducing your regular caloric intake of carbohydrates, you can reduce your chances of storing fat by just getting rid of excess sugar.

The day before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving eve)

Protein synthesis and its biochemical effects from exercising lasts for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours after exercise, including during sleep, so steady consumption of protein within this time has been suggested to maximize protein synthesis.

So what does that mean for you? It means that if you are a part of the masses who indulge in great amounts of protein rich foods such potato salad, turkey, chicken, or duck, then working out the day before thanksgiving is highly beneficial for those looking to put on muscle.

Have a high intensity workout ready to be done the day before. Plan it carefully, execute, and kill your workout. Walk out the gym knowing you are setting the stepping stones for your body to use any protein from thanksgiving as building blocks to repair and build up your muscles. 

And since you put in work at the gym, you will hopefully have burned enough calories the day before, which will allow you to cheat on turkey day.

Thanksgiving Day

We all know this is a day of family and thanksgiving. Also a great time for some bonding over a few glasses of wine, a few shots of liquor, or even a few shotguns of beer to celebrate.

A word of advice, drink in moderation. Alcohol inhibits protein synthesis, so that tough workout you did the day prior could be negated by drinking too much alcohol, so try not to over drink.

Also if your knees are still good, then do something active before you eat your thanksgiving meal. Over here in Maryland, it’s been a tradition for friends of mine to do an annual Turkey bowl. Turkey bowl is tackle football out in the blistering cold.

The point of this example is to tell you all to get some sort of physical activity in before you eat. Raising your heart rate and burning calories in the morning will allow you to, once again, cheat on your diet. 

And it doesn’t have to be football. Go on a walk with your family, do an early morning jog, get on the elliptical for 30 minutes, or even a light gym session of no more than 30 minutes will suffice.

The day after Thanksgiving

If you’re like most Americans, you will probably get “Eater’s Remorse,” essentially regretting eating and drinking as much as you did on Thanksgiving. Oh well, it happens.

The best way to get out of this funk is to remain active. You don’t have to go to the gym or workout. It’s not mandatory. Use this day to clean around the house, run errands, play with your kids, etc. As long as you’re staying active your body will burn calories. It may not be as fast of a rate as working out but it will lower your guilt.

Additionally, instead of sitting back and watching football all day, play some games with your friends and family. Even better, if you all are watching a football game then you can do the touchdown challenge. 

The Touchdown Challenge is simple. You must root for your team the entire game. Whenever your team gets scored on, then you must do seven pushups or seven sit-ups. Or you can wait till the end and the losing team's fans must do the total number of points scored by the winning team in pushups or sit-ups. Make it fun i.e. every fumble your team makes is 50 jumping jacks. Add what you want.


Tip one: Complete some sort of high intensity workout the day prior to thanksgiving.
Tip two: The days prior to thanksgiving, eat lighter meals. Also remove or reduce sugar from your diet as much as you can.
Tip three: Don’t over indulge in alcohol on Thanksgiving. Moderation is key.
Tip four: Be active prior to your thanksgiving meal by doing a light workout or jog around the neighborhood.
Tip five: Be extra active the day after Thanksgiving. Use those excess calories running errands or doing housework.
Tip six: Never root for the Dallas Cowboys (Ok well this isn’t going to stop you from gaining weight, but still…)

Add the tips in this guideline to your thanksgiving plans and you will definitely stay on track with any fitness goals that you have set for yourself. And once again, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Lifting!


Just cause this Turkey is a boss. Photo :Befunk

Did I miss any tips that should be in the article? Comment below and interact with me on Twitter and Facebook!

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