Thanksgiving Guide To Not Losing Your Gains
It’s that time, the leaves are changing colours, the smell of crisp cool air in your nose, pumpkin spice everything is available at local coffee shops – it’s fall! And with fall comes Thanksgiving, which is this weekend. Now, we all know that Thanksgiving isn’t just a time to see family, friends, and loved ones – it’s also a time where it’s incredibly easy to over indulge in fun food and drink. I think we all know, that Thanksgiving is a time where we can easily over eat, gain weight, or possibly derail the progress we’ve made in the gym.
So what’s someone to do if they want to enjoy Thanksgiving without ruining their gains, or setting themselves back too much – in terms of the progress they’ve made in the gym?
Well fear not, we’ve got you covered with this helpful guide to surviving the set backs that can be cause by Thanksgiving!
1.) Portion Control What You Do Eat
It seems simple right? Control how much you eat. Just because there is pie, cake, ice cream, insane amounts of mashed potatoes and gravy, doesn’t mean you have to go wild on eating as much as you can fit into your belly. Try being sensible about how much you’re eating. Thanksgiving usually revolves around Turkey or some kind of other lean protein. Try filling up on meat and veggies, and saving the sweets as a “treat”, having enough to feel satisfied without over doing it. Eat enough to feel satisfied, but not stuffed.
If you’re meeting up with family for a dinner, eat how you would regularly eat throughout the day and keep the portions moderate if you plan on eating more at that dinner. Just be sensible about the amount of food you’re consuming.
2.) Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Those liquid calories add up fast. 1 bottle of beet contains around 150 calories, 1 glass of red wine contains 85 calories, and straight spirits contain around 64 calories per shot … not to mention whatever you mix them with, which could spike that calorie count up to 150-250 calories per drink easily. Place that on top of the excess food you may be consuming, and you can easily consume the equivalent of a couple days worth of calories in an evening.
So what do you do? Drink sensibly and stick to a few drinks, or none at all if you want a challenge. You could also choose lower calorie drinks such as whiskey’s and rye’s done neat/on the rocks, or mixed with calorie free mixes such as soda waters with limes and lemons – in order to keep the calorie count lower.
3.) Try Intermittent Fasting
If you don’t know about intermittent fasting already, it has some great benefits for longevity and aging – BUT it also helps to self regulate how much you eat. If you have multiple Thanksgiving dinners to attend, and you’re concerned about over eating, you may want to consider implementing intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting employs the practice of not eating for a window of time during the day, and allowing yourself a window of time to eat in the evening (a sensible amount of food, not stuffing yourself).
Try this simple method.
- Stop eating the night before your first Thanksgiving dinner at around 9pm.
- Don’t eat the next day until around 1-2pm
- Stop eating around 9-10pm
- This will provide you with around a 16-17 hour fast, with feeding window of time around 8-7 hours
- You may consume water, tea, or black coffee in the morning without anything in them during your fasting period
- Rinse and repeat for 2 days if your meals are back to back
This is a very easy way to limit the amount of food you’re consuming without counting calories, if that’s not your thing. It may also allow you to consume a little more food in the evening, due to the fact that you have saved your calories all day long. It’s not magic, you still need to be “sane” about how much you eat and drink, but it may help keep you on the path.
4.) Forget it all! Have fun, but get right back to it after your dinners
Look, you didn’t get all the results and gains you have in one workout – you won’t loose it all in one evening. The KEY is to NOT allow that one or two evenings roll into a week, or even a month, of eating and drinking too much, and over indulging in poor quality foods.
Thanksgiving is once per year, you can enjoy it with your family, enjoy the food and drink, and you can go right back to being your more level headed and sensible, “healthy”, self once the weekend is finished. Go right back to eating how you normally eat, following your regular gym schedule, and following all those habits that helped build you up into the healthier person you are today.
Don’t feel guilty, don’t worry – as long as you jump right back on that “healthy living horse” you’ll be ok.
So, from all of us at Wynn Fitness – Enjoy the moment with your family and loved ones, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.