Thanksgiving Meal Facts & FREE Turkey Day Boot Camp
November 19, 2009 at 10:16 AM EST - Updated June 19 at 1:26 PM
Hard to Believe: Average Thanksgiving Meal Equals 3,000 Calories and 229 Grams of Fat
Thanksgiving is a holiday full of tradition, indulgence and, regrettably, extra pounds! Is there a way to stay fit and still enjoy the turkey feast? The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s non-profit fitness advocate, suggests a balance between committing to a fitness regimen and limited caloric intake over several days to stay healthy and trim through the holidays.
“A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, ACE chief exercise physiologist. “Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4,500. All holiday delicacies can be enjoyed so long as they’re eaten in moderation and combined with a proper exercise plan.”
Tips to Stay Fit
You can make up for a feast of rich, higher-fat foods with lighter, lower-fat meals for the next couple of days. Plan for the big meal that day with a low-calorie, low-fat breakfast and lunch. Never skip meals, just limit them.
Look back and assess your diet over the past few days by recording your caloric intake with a food diary. Have you been over-indulging at recent party feasts? Are there additional celebrations looming? Try eating sensibly in order to afford the extra calories come meal time.
Don’t panic or feel guilty if your diet seems to have gotten out of hand. When you balance your intake over several days, you have ample time to regain control.
Make physical activity a regular habit. Beyond burning calories, exercise is essential for good health, stress management (oftentimes a challenge during the busy holiday season) and overall well-being.
Working out consistently will help jump-start your metabolism allowing you to burn more of those calories from your holiday binge.
Have a salad, light soup or some fruit and veggies before leaving home or prior to your meal. This way you will feel fuller and less likely to overeat.
Select only your favorite foods at a holiday buffet and let other guests enjoy traditional fare like nuts, rolls and sweet potatoes.
Practice portion control. A smaller serving of the real thing can be very satisfying and calorie-trimming.