Average Thanksgiving Meal Equals 3,000 Calories and 229 Grams of FatThanksgiving 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.