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November Nutrition Topic – Handling Thanksgiving

Nov 9, 2011

Did you know…

  • The average person eats approximately 4000 calories at their Thanksgiving meal.
  • According to Nutrition Review, December 2000, the average American adult will gain a staggering 6 to 15 pounds from now until January 1st. November 1st marks the Unofficial Start of Weight Gain Season.
  • So if you do not want to feel like a stuffed turkey when the holidays are over, now’s the time to plan your holiday eating and exercise strategies.
  • Keep in mind that if you blow your fitness routine on just three days – Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah, and New Years – it won’t cause too much damage. What gets most of us in trouble is nonstop feasting that goes on from Turkey Day through January 1st
  • Plan your nutrition strategy now, and don’t forget to squeeze in those exercise sessions.


  • Bank your calories. You know you love Grandma’s signature Thanksgiving strudel, so why not plan ahead for it? If a sumptuous holiday meal is in your future, eat lighter on the days leading up to it, and rev up those workouts. Try drinking lots of water and eating an apple, a cheese stick and some carrots before the meal to take the edge off so you’ll make wiser food choices.
  • Size up the holiday treats before you dig in. Never go famished to a holiday gathering. Eat a light snack beforehand to level out your blood sugar; this will help you make more sensible choices come meal time. Once at the holiday table, scan the feast for your favorites. If you spot Aunt Millie’s irresistible pecan pie, then skip the creamy mashed potatoes and go heavier on the lighter fare such as steamed green beans and skinless white meat turkey.
  • Limit the booze. Liquid calories can foil the best laid plans of moderation during the holidays. Alcohol stimulates your appetite, lessens your resolve to eat lighter, and adds a significant amount of calories to your intake. Go for the lighter drinks such as a glass of wine as opposed to calorie-dense spiked eggnog or sugary mixed drinks. Another trick is to alternate your drink with a glass of sparkling water.
  • Get that exercise in. Now is not the time to let your fitness routine drop by the wayside. Instead, pencil holiday fitness activities into your calendar such as a 5K Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run. Get daily cardio in. Long walks to clear your head would truly help with holiday stress. And don’t forget your strength training routine—the best way to keep your body lean and fit for the New Year.
  • Hark back to what’s really important. Believe it or not, this time of year is not just about the holiday goodies. Focus on celebrating this season, reveling in the sights, sounds, and warmth of sharing meaningful memories with family and friends – what the holidays are truly about!


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