If you’re reading this, you’re one of the thousands and thousands of dieters out there unsure how to stay on track during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is such a difficult time of year to stay on track.
There are so many different opportunities to enjoy yourself, many of which include consuming an incredible amount of delicious foods, desserts, drinks.
Why is Thanksgiving so difficult to stay on track with your macros or diet? I’ve always wondered this. Obviously because of your Thanksgiving day meal, but why else?
Reasons might vary person to person, but for me, I’ve noticed so many factors that contribute to this issue.
In this article we’re going to start by identifying the issues we all face during this week.
Second, we will discuss different Thanksgiving weight loss tips for those who want to keep pushing forward with their diet, but still enjoy themselves.
Remember, dieting is not a race it is a marathon. That being said, if you do accidentally go into a calorie surplus, miss your macros, gain a few pounds, I need you to do something for me.
DON’T BE ALARMED!
Because dieting and fitness is a marathon, you’re going to have so many varying ups and downs.
At the end of the day, what do you think your goal should be?
Your goal should be to be happy and to enjoy life.
Now, let’s start breaking it down.
Thanksgiving Week Dieting Issues
Like we briefly discussed above, there are so many different issues people must take on when trying to stick to their diet during the week of Thanksgiving.
Heck, it might even be difficult for folks to remain consistent the week after too.
Here is why!
1) Thanksgiving Meal (Of course)
Obviously, the first big issue that folks dieting must face is their enormous Thanksgiving meal.
If you’re like my family, your Thanksgiving meal might include turkey, ham, three types of different potatoes, veggies, gravy, chip dips, puddings, jellos, and so much more!
No wonder it’s such an issue meeting your caloric and macro goals.
My main advice, is for you to just enjoy yourself on this day and within reason, eat what you would like.
It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to eat all of these amazing foods. Also, think of all the hard work and love put into those who cooked it!
This special day when we give thanks to our family, friends, loved ones, and all the people or things in life we hold dear deserves to be ENJOYED!
2) Family and Friends Come Home!
Another issue some of you may come across, is that family and friends will most likely be coming home.
This isn’t an issue, but for the week or few days that you’re with your missed loved ones, you surely will want to be celebrating your time together!
Specifically, if you’re in college or graduated from college, many friends begin to move away to different cities, states, or even countries. Thanksgiving is normally a homecoming celebration where we reunite ourselves and catch up with old pals.
During this week, your friends or family will most likely want to go out to delicious dinners, to the local bars, or have get-togethers with many foods and drinks!
This can be difficult because a lot of this food and probably all the drinks can interfere with our fitness goals.
If you’re proactive about it, you can prepare yourself for this!
Like many of you know, with Thanksgiving comes a ton of leftovers.
You most likely will be eating your Thanksgiving leftovers for days, or even a week!
This could become troublesome to some of us, but you definitely can still eat your leftovers and reach your goals. Just because the food is seemingly calorie heavy and in large quantity in your fridge, doesn’t mean that it will ruin your progress.
Let’s talk about some tips we can use to combat each of these issues from above.
How Can We Solve These “Issues”?
There are a variety of ways you can approach each of these three Thanksgiving week issues.
Next, we’re going to breakdown various tips you can use to try to avoid straying too far from your caloric goals and macros.
1) Lower Your Calorie Intake
The first step you can take is to lower your daily caloric intake preceding Thanksgiving.
This is a strategy I have utilized in years past and it seemed to work well.
The week or two before Thanksgiving, you can lower your caloric intake by 100-300 calories a day in order to prepare yourself to eat in a caloric surplus during the week of Thanksgiving.
Example: If you normally eat 2000 calories a day, try dropping your calories to around 1800 a day in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
Let’s do the math, in a 7-day week, if you cut your calories to 1800 a day you will have burned an extra 1,400 calories.
Therefore, you technically have about 1,400 calories extra for your Thanksgiving celebrations.
Now, a lot of variables come into play here depending on just how much you’re eating and what your caloric deficit goal is, but this should limit the damage you might do to your diet during Thanksgiving.
This strategy could be used for the week of Thanksgiving as well depending on how much celebrating you plan to do.
Again, the goal here is to enjoy yourself and spread thanks for all that you have.
2) Intermittent Fasting
If you’re still not doing intermittent fasting, you’re doing it wrong!
Using the strategy of intermittent fasting is one of the best tools to help you lose weight.
If you haven’t heard of intermittent fasting yet, read here.
Anyways, on the days you plan to celebrate with friends or family by going to bars and restaurants, utilize this strategy and fast in order to have more calories to consume later in the day!
If you avoid breakfast and have a small lunch, you will be able to consume a large amount of calories while celebrating with your friends for the evening.
This is also a great strategy to use on Thanksgiving day.
Personally, I fast until my Thanksgiving day meal so that I can eat just about as much as I can without (hopefully) going into a calorie surplus.
I highly recommend this strategy.
3) Cardio (This Should Be Your Last Option)
Another strategy you can use is to utilize cardio sessions.
I do not recommend using Cardio as the way to keep your diet in check, however, during Thanksgiving week or the week before, it could be a useful tool.
Example: Your caloric deficit has you eating 2000 calories a day. The week before Thanksgiving and the week of Thanksgiving you burn 200 calories Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by doing cardio.
You will now have burned an extra 1200 calories and technically have a lot more room for calorie consumption on Thanksgiving and for social gatherings.
Jump Into Thanksgiving With Positivity!
Today we began by identifying some key stresses leading into Thanksgiving.
Sticking to your diet plan can be very difficult when there is an enormous Thanksgiving meal to eat, when friends and family come home, and when your parents or guardians send you off with plenty of leftovers.
Not only did we identify key issues that we all face during Thanksgiving, but we also identified some solutions as well.
First, we talked about lowering your caloric intake by 100-300 calories a day leading into Thanksgiving. This can be extremely useful in making sure you stay in a caloric deficit during your delicious meals!
Second, we discussed utilizing the strategy of intermittent fasting. By saving your calories for later in the day, you can eat like a king or queen!
Lastly, we talked about using cardio to our advantage as to prepare for the high amount of calories about to be consumed during your Thanksgiving celebrations.
Each of these strategies can be utilized to help you feel better about your holiday week.
Remember, enjoy yourself, spread thanks for all that you have, and comment below with any questions or tips of your own!
Founder of https://myshakercup.com
I must agree with you. This period of the year is the most difficult one for us who like to eat and enjoy in different food. I always get 2-4 kilograms during the thanksgiving only because of that my family and friends are together and food is everywhere. Thank you this very helpful tips, I will try to reduce my calorie intake and try the last option, cardio training.
I am so glad to be able to help. Do write back and let me know what strategies worked best for you!
Your article is a wake up call as we are moving toward the holidays. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have to admit that your article is very relevant and up to date.
I know how it is easy to let loose during this time of the year, and quickly add some pounds that become harder to get rid of later on. Your advices are instructive to help people keep up with their weight and health.
A very interesting topic.
Holidays definitely are a difficult time to stay true to your goals. What we need to do is just make this a more enjoyable time of year with less worries!
Thanks for the kind words!
You have kinda read my mind! More than one as I read your post I said: “Yeah, that’s me!”
I greatly appreciate the suggestions you mention here. I will lower my calorie intake this year. And I’ll try to do the intermittent fasting and cardio! It’s great to have this type of goals set! Based on my own experience, they work! Thank you very much!
So glad that you reached out. I am very grateful that I could help you out and give you some tips heading into the holidays. Far too many people struggle during this time of year.
Feel free to reach out and let me know how it goes!
Good afternoon Russell,
Where I live there is no Thanksgiving but 3 Christmas days, end of the year and ofcourse 3 Kings in January.
Your post is valid for whenever there is the danger of overeating.
I fully agree, be happy and enjoy life even if you could lose some pounds. Stress is counter productive for losing weight.
Personally, I find intermittent fasting the best and also easiest way to prepare for a big (eating) event. Do this before and after the event and all will be well.
Hey! I am so happy that you are also a lover of intermittent fasting! It is perfect to prepare yourself for any celebrating or social events ahead! Russell
Great post, good info and great tips!
I don't need to lose weight, since I'm already on point.
But my dad isn't, at all. He weights like 25 kilo too much, and he says he is doing something for it but me and my wife don't believe it.
What I will do is show him these tips you give, and no way he can say he doesn' know or he does something for it, because we will watch him close!
Thanks a lot for sharing it!
Russell, I enjoyed your article. Even though, as a Brit I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, you article gave me some great tips for Christmas which, of course, is just around the corner.
It can be difficult at this and any time of year to keep your weight in check. I have not heard of intermittent fasting, so will definitely check that out.
Totally agree, though, that staying positive is the most important thing in so many aspects of life.
Thank you so much for reaching out! I definitely recommend intermittent fasting it is a wonderful tool.
Have a great day and stay positive:)
Hi Russell. Hope you're having a great time and happy Thanksgiving :)
Thanksgiving is a time of enjoyment in all forms, all manners of drinks and meals included too.
I must say, this article sharing thanksgiving Weight Loss Tips is quite impressive. I love the idea of reducing calories intake during the week leading to Thanksgiving. I think that's smart.
Thanks so much for your kind words. I could not agree more that during the holidays our goal should be to relax, enjoy ourselves, and count our blessings. Hopefully these tips will help a lot of folks do just that.
I had a goal of losing weight a couple of months ago knowing that the thanksgiving holiday was right around the corner. I failed miserably as I didn’t lose any weight leading up to it.
Not only are the meals going to be big with most people but also the amounts of leftovers that will be eaten as well. On top of that, the Christmas season is also not to far off which means even more eating as well.
Thanks for commenting.
There's no doubt that it is difficult to stay on track during the holiday season. However, I'm confident that with the tips provided it can make dieting a little bit easier.