Thanksgiving is coming, and that means one thing: you’re going to eat. A lot.
But that doesn’t have to destroy what you’ve built or what you’re working toward. That’s right – even in the midst of the chaos of Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the crazy amounts of calories you’re confronted with!
Instead, follow these simple tips for a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast:
Have a High Volume Workout Beforehand
If you know you won’t be able to avoiding loading your plate with holiday food, prepare for the event by working so hard you earn that food.
If you perform a strenuous weight lifting and cardio-heavy workout just before, or even several times in the lead up to Thanksgiving dinner, your body will be ready for that meal and will absorb its nutrients with gusto.
Eat a High-Protein Snack Before the Main Course
When Thanksgiving Day has arrived and you’re waiting for the announcement that the food is served, eat a high-protein snack to curb your appetite and prep your stomach for the feast ahead. That way, you won’t be ravenously hungry and willing to scarf down everything in sight when filling your plate.
Focus on Lean Protein and Vegetables
When the time comes to fill your plate, choose wisely. Go for the lean protein, which has the highest short-term satiating power to keep you fuller for longer. And you can’t be too liberal with vegetables, especially any leafy greens available. Your typical Thanksgiving dinner usually has a healthy selection of broccoli, collard greens, and maybe Brussels sprouts to fill in those empty spots around your turkey or ham.
Don’t Eat All Day
Because of the vast volume of food often prepared for Thanksgiving Day, there are likely to be tons of leftovers and new dishes being prepared throughout the holiday. You may be tempted to keep refilling your plate with the food still calling you into the kitchen, but you must resist.
Limit yourself to one large meal or two medium sized meals, and keep track of your overall calorie consumption like you would any other day.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
At some Thanksgiving celebrations, you may find a large supply of alcoholic beverages available for the adults. But if you drink some, you don’t have to feel guilty.
Eat primarily protein for your calories. Both alcohol and protein have higher thermic effects that are unlikely to contribute to fat gain directly. Heavily limit your fat and carb intake by substituting them with veggies. Combined, these effects can even out what you consumed from alcohol.
Remember not to overindulge in alcohol, or you may encourage yourself to overeat.
Avoid the Dessert Table
Stay away from sweet desserts and anything that contains large amounts of sugar. Of course, you want a big slice of pie after your turkey, but if you’re serious about your goals, you won’t give in.
If you absolutely must have that piece of pie for your holiday to feel complete, make sure the rest of your meal is balanced by heavily restricting fats and carbs.
If you’re dedicated to achieving the body you want, you won’t go easy on yourself on Thanksgiving. You may give in and eat all your heart desires, but you’ll do everything in your power to mitigate the damage afterward.
But remember, Thanksgiving is only one day a year. Treat it as a celebration of what you’ve accomplished, knowing that you’re about to make some serious progress thanks to the anabolic powers of food.