This is the healthiest time of the year.
Thanksgiving brings all the delicious fat-bleached meats, cheeses, sauces, gravies, and vegetables you can eat…and all the extra pounds that come with it. Thanksgiving weight gain and shame with them.
It’s no wonder so many New Year’s resolutions involve losing weight and eating better. And that’s why we’re here (and why you’re here).
How much weight does the average person gain while on vacation?
The good news: you know that familiar warning about how the average American gains 5-10 pounds over the holidays? Totally false.
“There is no scientific data to support this number,” says Jamie Cooper, Ph.D.., an exercise physiologist and associate professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia.
She co-wrote a studypublished in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which participants weighed an average of just 1.7 lbs. won.
(Another study she refers to showed an average weight gain of 0.9 lbs.)
OK, now the bad news: Those who exercised (at least 150 minutes per week on average) gained the same weight as everyone else. sip.
“That doesn’t mean you should skip exercise,” Cooper warns, “but it really comes down to your food choices.”
Yet is it even worth worrying about such a small number? It’s not this It’s hard to shed a few pounds in January when you’re stocking up on broccoli and chicken breast.
Except for many people, it is. Cooper says a lot of people won’t lose their holiday weight in the new year.
“There’s something called creeping obesity,” she explains. “If you put on a little bit of weight every year, year after year, it really adds up over time.”
the average american takes 1 to 2 pounds per yearand if this gain is to come mainly during the holidays, it makes sense to try to avoid it.
How to avoid gaining weight on Thanksgiving
So let’s get back to this question of exercise.
Cooper’s easiest advice for surviving the season without having to loosen your belt is to stick to your usual routine of trying to eat healthy and work out (it also can’t hurt to increase a little the intensity of your exercise).
In his study, initial body weight was a more significant predictor of vacation weight gain than exercise, meaning heavier people tended to put on more pounds.
So if you’re already lean and slim, you’re on the right track.
Cooper also suggests weighing yourself regularly during the holidays so you can catch up on the increasing number, then minimizing excessive liquid calories, such as alcohol, punch and eggnog.
Finally, be aware of how many calories your food contains. “This unique holiday cookie is 150 calories and you’d have to walk a mile and a half to burn it off,” she says.
How much exercise does it take to clear Thanksgiving calories?
Read on to visualize what it takes to prepare a typical Thanksgiving plate. * Next, decide if that extra glass of wine is worth it.
(All calorie counts are based on a 150-pound person, so if you weigh more, you’ll also burn more calories.)
Before your guests arrive, kick off the big day with yoga sun salutations (3.3 MET) to center your mind and adopt an “attitude of gratitude.” Ten minutes of flowing yoga will zap every lump of real butter (36 calories).
2. Turkey leg
You called dibs – via mass email – on one of the drumsticks last week. Earn it by spending time in the kitchen as it will take about two and a half hours of cooking time (3.3 MET) to burn the 542 calories (pre-basted) in the drumstick.
3. Pumpkin Pie
Sign up for a T-Day Morning Turkey Trot, and you won’t have to feel too bad about beating this. 323 calories slice of pumpkin pie.
Maintain a 10-minute-mile pace (9.8 METs) for half an hour, and you’ll burn enough calories to add a tablespoon of whipped cream.
Get a healthier recipe: Pumpkin pie with whole wheat crust.
We don’t need stinky sauce packets.
Your mother makes animal gravy the old-fashioned way – with pan juices and offal.
Help clean the house (3.3 MET) for 12 minutes before everyone arrives to cancel out every quarter cup of turkey gravy (46 calories).
5. Sweet Potato Casserole
If you have visions of this classic Southern dance in your head, make room for a serving (249 calories) with just under an hour of moderate-intensity calisthenics (3.8 METs) – push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and planks – while watching the Thanksgiving parade.
She only arrived five minutes ago and already your curious aunt Esther is asking you why you’re not married/don’t have children/your hair is so short/you have that tattoo.
Put on your sneakers and go for a brisk 35-minute walk (6 DISHES) to make room for the two glasses of Cabernet (244 calories) you will need some to get through dinner.
Sitting next to Aunt Esther, of course.
Can’t stop thinking about that bandage, huh? Rake leaves (3.8 METs) for 38 minutes and cancel the 162 calories in a delicious 1/3 cup serving.
(Who are you kidding? You better double that raking time.)
Get a healthier recipe: Bulgur apple and sage stuffing
8. Green Bean Casserole
If you prefer your vegetables to be unrecognizable, get some rope. Just nine minutes of skipping rope (11 DISHES) will burn a portion of these beans (111 calories).
Get an even healthier recipe: Healthy Green Bean Casserole
You heard Cousin Miriam brings her traditional Hannukah kugel. Host a flag football game (4 DISHES), and you will melt a one-cup serving (257 calories) in about an hour.
10. Cranberry Sauce
Want to make up for your exile at the children’s table by bogaring the cranberry sauce?
Brave the pre-Black Friday sales (2.3 METs) for an hour and 20 minutes to clear half a cup of this bittersweet red slime (210 calories).
11. Pumpkin Spice Latte
You have “cured” yourself (for the 24e times this month) to Starbucks’ Pumpkin Fall Potion for a midday turkey shake.
Better to do calisthenics at maximum effort (8 DISHES). You’ll need about 40 minutes to incinerate the calories hiding in a large with 2% milk and whipping cream (380 calories).
* Calories calculated from The Compendium of Physical Activities with help from Cornell University METS Calorie Calculator.