Fitness and Thanksgiving

According to the Calorie Control Council, on average, Americans will eat 3,000 calories during the main meal on Thanksgiving.

Add breakfast, snacks, dessert, and alcohol, the average calorie intake on Thanksgiving can reach 4500 calories or even higher. So, what can you do to combat this doubling, tripling, or higher of the recommended daily calorie intake?

Exercise beforehandThanksgiving Running turkey

Many fun runs have been started as a reaction to the overindulgence of Thanksgiving. The Denton Area Running Club has the Annual Turkey Trot, a 5k or kid’s 1k. Dallas has the Thanksgiving Day Run, with Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and 1k options.

You can workout on your own before the big meal. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and work out at the same time. Whenever a float shows up, do as many squats as you can. If a character balloon is on screen, do as many sit ups as possible. If there is a band/ musical performance, do as many pushups as possible.

Get creative with your own workout. The important thing is that you stay active to combat overindulging.

Portion Control

Portion control ThanksgivingWhile overindulging is typical of Thanksgiving, it is by no means a requirement of the holiday. You can still adhere to good portion control on Turkey Day. Here are a couple of ways to eye-ball good portions:

1 serving of dried fruit or nuts is 1/4 cup, which should only fill the center your hand.

1 serving of leafy greens and other vegetables is 1 cup or what you can pick up in one hand.

1 serving of fish, poultry or meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the whole palm of your hand.

1 serving of cheese is about the size of your index finger or 4 dice.

Stay Hydrated

If you are worried about overindulging, drink extra water. Staying hydrated all day, will help you not go overboard on food.

Tryptophan Myths

Tryptophan from Turkey has often been scapegoated as the cause for people getting extra sleepy on Thanksgiving. However, this is not the true culprit. Tryptophan is an essential Amino Acid found in poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. But Turkey does not have a drastically different amount of Tryptophan from any other type of poultry.

So why do people often get so sleepy on Thanksgiving? Well the largest, true culprit is eating too much. Plain and simple. That coupled with having the day off from work, feeling more relaxed by being around loved ones (assuming there are no fights and the Thanksgiving table), and it getting dark earlier, all combine to make people sleepy after the Thanksgiving meal. Taking a nap on Thanksgiving is perfectly fine, just be careful to curb your overindulge before the nap.

Keep in mind the common calorie intake issues that occur on Thanksgiving and you will have a much better holiday. Just because it is common to overindulge, doesn’t mean that you must. Or if you do decide that the Thanksgiving meal is going to be your Cheat Day, make sure you earn it by getting good exercise in beforehand.

Remember that The Brickhouse Gym will be closed on Thanksgiving, but we will re-open on Friday morning at 7:00 AM to help you work off that problem of too much Thanksgiving.

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