I’m going to hook you up and give you a strategy to avoid the excess weight/body fat gain that would typically accompany a Thanksgiving day feast, all while still allowing you to feast!
Yeah, that’s right!
But you have to employ a few little tricks of the trade in order to enjoy but not destroy your hard work this Thanksgiving.
What you should know is, I’m about to ask you to do some “Intermittent Fasting” along with a couple of other simple strategies in order to come out on top.
Now why would a fitness professional tell you to feast away? And what is this fasting stuff??
I tell you to feast away quite simply because I’m a man not a machine and I really enjoy Thanksgiving as much as you do. Well really I’m a “Manly-Machine” who loves turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and god-dang-it pass the gravy!!
As far as “intermittent fasting” and why I’m asking you to starve for certain periods of the day is because this will help you control your calorie count. I actually practice “IM” 1/2 of every day because I really don’t have my first meal until after my workout which is somewhere around midday.
And yes I said “after my workout.” I train hard and intense and have never once passed out from “lack of energy” or “nutrients” in my system. Trust me, energy and nutrients are there in a place called body fat. So I choose to use that as opposed to what I may eat for breakfast.
But to each is own. I am not saying IM is for everybody as it tends to work a bit better for men than it does women. It’s only a single “strategy” in an entire toolbox full of strategies you can use to improve your health and body composition. But I think for a couple of hour stretches this is a great approach for anybody around Thanksgiving.
If you want to learn more about the science behind IM go to this link and read about the 6 month study Dr. John Berardi did on himself personally: http://www.
Now here is my simple strategy to enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast and still remain a Beast!!
1) Wednesday – Midday (NOW) – Remove All Carbs From Diet
No Starches, Breads, Bagels, Cereals, Pastas, Juices, Fruits, Fruit Juices, Soda Creams, Sugars……….
Only Protein and Veggies
Why: You will be having a ton of starches and sugars the next day/evening so removing them now will save you some calories to work with.
2) Wednesday or Wednesday Night Workout
Perform a moderate intensity strength training or cardio session.
We will start tipping the balance of the calorie equation here. The intensity is moderate so your post-workout nutrition can be a protein shake or meal mixed with veggies and flax seed.
3) Thanksgiving Day Fast
Thursday morning, wake up and fast until at least after your Thanksgiving Day workout. This will put you in a prime fat-burning state as you will have to utilize energy stored on your body as opposed to what you have eaten for breakfast.
4)Thanksgiving Day Workout
An intense strength training session or metabolic cardio session is highly recommended as to create some real Excess Post Calorie Consumption “EPOC” and put your body in a calorie deficit for later. It never hurts to earn your calories!
5) Optional – Light Protein Shake
This is optional because it really depends on how you want to play this. Sometimes it’s better to walk yourself up to the table having a little something in your stomach. This can help prevent overeating also. You can copy the post-workout option from Wednesday night if you use this method.
You can also just wait and eat like a savage at the Thanksgiving Feast!
At this point, you will have earned it but the choice is up to you.
6) Feast Away
This whole post is about allowing you to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family and friends and not feel guilty. So by all means, enjoy yourself.
Because you’ll be right back to work tomorrow!
7) Friday Morning Fast
Repeat the process from Thanksgiving. Only now you have a “surplus” of calories to burn from the previous day which makes for a high-energy, all attack, beast mode session Friday morning.
8) Friday Morning Workout
Do the opposite of what you did the day before. If you did an all out strength training session, do a high intensity cardio session. If you did hip sprints and sled pushes for cardio, do upper body strength training. But feel free to go hard as you want to erode that calorie count a bit.
9) Friday Morning Leftovers
You can certainly have yourself a healthy protein shake if you want. But most people will be working on leftovers for a bit. And hey, if you’re going to enjoy one last hurrah the best time to do it is after a morning fast and intense workout session.
10) Friday Afternoon Get Back To Normal
Now that we’ve had our fun and enjoyed ourselves, it’s now time to get back on track. If you want to live a “lean lifestyle” now is the moment of redemption. It was fun while it lasted but for us “motivated” people it’s time to practice what we preach and get back to the habits that got us here in the first place. Now you can keep the picture of mom’s stuffing and grandma’s pumpkin pie as sweet memories in your mind and close to your heart and thankfully nowhere near your waist!
That is my list of 10 strategies to avoid the Thanksgiving overload. Remember, this is designed to allow you to enjoy yourself without the guilt.
If you can stick to the strategies I’ve laid out for you then there is no reason why you should struggle to enjoy yourself while staying lean this Thanksgiving.