Hey gang....Well, it's that time of year again....😃
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it comes all the tempting turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cornbread, rolls, cakes, pies…..is your mouth watering yet?
It is incredibly easy to overindulge when so many great foods are in front of you (in abundance, might we add). According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume a whopping 4,500 calories or more during a typical Thanksgiving Day gathering!
That is worth repeating…the average person will eat over 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day!
To put this number into perspective, you can eat 2 large cheese and pepperoni pizzas and still be under 4,500 calories at many pizza shops across the U.S.!
Furthermore, to burn 4,500 calories the average person would need to run at 6 mph for about 6 hours straight. Yikes.
You might ask, “how is this possible?”. Well, we know people are NOT eating 4,500 calories worth of turkey. Or stuffing. Or any of the other main course menu options, for that matter.
In fact, what may be contributing most to this startling number are the hidden culprits, listed below.
Appetizers and Hors D’Oeuvres: A simple small plate of 4 “pigs in a blanket”, 4 Ritz crackers, some veggies and dip can cost you over 500 calories. And that is just the yield from one small plate (not 2, 3, 4…). Other common Thanksgiving Day appetizers like pastry puffs, nuts, cheeses, and dips are all very dense in fat, which contributes to high calorie counts. To avoid overindulging on appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, consider munching on the items on the relish and vegetable platters, minus all the dressings and dips. Also, consider drinking lots of water at the same time. Not only will it fill you up faster, but it will make you less likely to overeat during the main course!
Desserts: Its no surprise that most deserts are packed with calories. And it is safe to say that on Thanksgiving, most of us don’t stop at one piece of pumpkin pie. But if you did stop after just one piece, you would be consuming a tolerable 300 calories. However, if you add a few shots of whip cream, a few cookies, some M&Ms and handful of cashews, you can easily start to creep towards the 1000 calorie mark! And that isn’t even factoring in the apple or pecan pie. Be conscious of everything you are eating throughout the day, especially when the deserts come out! Try limiting yourself to only one desert. If you have to, get seconds and thirds of the healthy vegetables, salads and lower calorie foods during the main course to fill your stomach prior to desert time.
Toppings: How great is butter on top of a nice warm piece of cornbread? Or how about gravy smothered all over the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing? All of this tastes amazing, but it can easily add well into the hundreds and even thousands on the calorie gauge. Most of the succulent holiday toppings and garnishes are incredibly dense in fat and sodium. We agree it is a shame to do away with them completely, so try limiting yourself to just a few tablespoons of whatever topping or gravy you decide to have.
Drinks: Vino, Vino, Vino! Well, three glasses of wine (red or white) will cost you about 375 calories (one 5oz glass is equal to about 125 calories). Mixed drinks with soda or juice can easily run over 200 calories each, and expect your beer to account for 100 to 150 calories per 12oz depending on the type. Additionally, alcohol can and will lower your inhibitions, making you care less and eat more.Try sticking to just one or two drinks. Or better yet…drink water! At 0 calories per gallon, you can’t go wrong!
If you follow the recommendations provided here this Thanksgiving holiday, expect to save yourself in the neighborhood of 1,500 to 2,500 calories! Since a pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories, your body will thank you for it (and so will the bathroom scale the following morning!).
A good workout on Thanksgiving morning can give your metabolism a boost and help you burn more calories throughout the day. Check out my earlier blog post (click here) about the depletion and ignition workout to make sure you minimize the impact of this traditional caloric bonanza.
Yours in Health and Wellness
~ Coach Leon
PS: That is of course unless you want to join our Holiday Belly Burn program this year, where for one low price you can train with us through the rest of 2017 and get a bonus 50% off of January.