Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide: Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide
Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner which means gathering with family and friends for a day of feasting, football and perhaps a few cocktails. The average Thanksgiving meal can range from a whopping 3,000 to 5,000 calories (that would be just way too many burpees)!

Just because this holiday comes once a year, doesn’t mean we should throw away our healthy ways and set up a downward spiral of unhealthy eating and habits until January 1st.


The key is to take control now by creating daily habits that become a lifestyle. When you create lifestyle changes, you are more likely to make better choices and not fall off the fitness wagon. You will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving Day by not feeling deprived, guilty or so bloated that you have to wear your sweats to make it to dessert.

Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

Start Planning Now

Continue your daily workout plan, and if you do not have one, now is the time to start. Here is a simple weekly workout program of free videos you can follow and do from home:


Monday       Full Body Blast with Mini Ball
Tuesday       Total Body Circuit Workout
Wednesday Cardio Interval Workout
Thursday     Barre Arm Workout
Friday           Pilates with Mini Ball Workout
Saturday      Total Body Barre Workout
Sunday         Rest Day

Get In the Right Mindset

Acknowledge that the real meaning of this holiday should be about gratitude as opposed to the size of the turkey or how many desserts there will be. Remove your focus off of the food. Plan ways you can show gratitude.


10 Ways to Show Gratitude

  1. Send a care package to a solider.
  2. Make a Thanksgiving meal for neighbors.
  3. Volunteer at a shelter.
  4. Pay for coffee to the person behind you in line.
  5. Say Thank You.
  6. Leave a sticky note letting a family member know they are special.
  7. Offer your talent/service to someone in need.
  8. Give an inspirational book to a friend.
  9. Be a mentor to someone.
  10. Send a hand written letter in the mail thanking someone for positively affecting your life.

Thanksgiving Prep

Whether you are hosting turkey day or bringing a dish to a family member’s house, here a few tips for a healthier menu:

  • Avoid creamy dishes
  • Choose lemon juice for salad dressing
  • Choose fruits for dessert
  • Substitute oil & butter with apple sauce or banana for baked desserts
  • Avoid making anything fried
  • Limit or avoid butter

Thanksgiving Day

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast
  • Schedule in a workout
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Use a smaller plate (so you cannot overdo it)
  • Skip the turkey skin
  • Choose lean/white turkey meat (about the size of your palm) and veggies
  • Skip soda and sugary drinks
  • If you have a cocktail choose red wine, white wine spritzer or low calorie beer
  • Stop eating when you feel full
  • Plan an after-dinner activity such as football, hike or tag
  • Give the leftovers away

Use these tips to prepare, enjoy, and conquer your holiday festivities while still having fun and staying fit. When you create good habits during the holiday season you will feel less stressed, happier, slimmer, more productive, and be in a better mood. Of course it is okay to indulge once in awhile, but if you motivate your mind and train your body to make healthy choices you will avoid the average weight gain of 7-12 pounds that many people experience during the holidays.