Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Yeah, being with family is nice…I guess. What I’m talking about is the food, baby. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and so, sooo much more. I, along with many others I’m sure, do not eat quietly into that night. And even if you’re not a big eater, the dinner table is usually stacked high with calorie-dense foods. Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is just another one of those holidays we have let become another excuse for allowing ourselves to gain weight. Not this time.
With Thanksgiving being just 2 weeks away (I can taste the stuffing now), I want to go over some strategies you should start implementing now in order to get a (turkey) leg up on the upcoming holiday. You see, most people start to workout either the week, or even, the day of a big eating event. I feel like my readers – all awesome, beautiful people – already have a (turkey) leg-up, since we kicked this series off with How to win Halloween. In that article, we established a base amount of physical activity to be performed everyday, simple nutrition tips to stave off hunger and stop yourself from turning into a candy monster, and went over a way to allow you to enjoy your candy bounty without being ultra restrictive. And you’ve been doing all of, or, most of those things we talked about. Right?
If not, that’s okay. Today, I want to up the ante on the exercise so we can turn our bodies into calorie-crushing machines. This will serve a two-fold purpose: you will be burning more calories per day which will allow you to eat more calories, and those extra calories will be put towards building that awesome thing called muscle. So, here it is:
- 40 minutes of Physical Activity DAILY – each day, you are to do a minimum of 40 minutes of either walking, jogging, biking, etc. You can split this time up too. You can do 20 minutes in the morning or at lunch, and another 20 minutes when you get done work. Now, the week of Thanksgiving, I want you to bump that time up to 45 minutes and you can even go up to 1 hour. Again, you can split it up. You don’t have to do it all at once. This will increase your daily calorie expenditure without making your stomach pang with hunger
- 10 Push-ups, 10 Lunges, and 10 Pull-ups everyday – this is going to be in addition to your current resistance training (that you’re doing 3x/week). You’ll start with just 10 of each of the above exercises (modify the push-ups and do them from your knees if need be or use the assisted pull-up machine if your gym has one). Here’s the kicker: each day, you’re going to add 1 repetition to each of the three exercises. So today, you’ll 10 push-ups, 10 lunges (per leg or 20 total), and 10 pull-ups. Tomorrow, 11 repetitions of each of those exercises. The next day 12, and so on. This will add volume to your workouts almost imperceptibly and you’ll be getting stronger too.
- Start eating at a calorie deficit NOW – here’s the thing about eating a huge meal from time to time: it can actually help you lose more weight. I think I just heard some minds getting blown. This topic will definitely be getting its own article in the future. But for now, just focus on slightly decreasing the calories you’re taking in by about 200-500 calories/day. But don’t eat less. Instead, eat more veggies and fruits; up to 7 servings of veggies and 4 for fruit. This will allow you to eat less without eating less. Going into a slight calorie deficit now will set you up for a nice big meal come Thanksgiving, and it will be well warranted.
There you have it, 3 simple ways to start preparing yourself for T-Day. Nothing crazy and nothing extreme, just simple, solid strategies to continue to improve your health and wellness while leading up to a delicious meal shared with loved ones. Again, stay on the lookout for another article on How to Win Thanksgiving. And if you haven’t already, tell your friends. Thanks for reading.