Don't let overeating on Thanksgiving derail your fitness plan

People ate 3,000 calories for Thanksgiving dinner
Posted at 3:49 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 17:27:15-05

Did you eat too much turkey on Thanksgiving Day?

Mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole -- it all adds up.

On average, people ate 3,000 calories for thanksgiving dinner alone, according to food industry group Calorie Control Council.

Your one slice of pecan pie with whipped cream equals about 600 calories.

How can you burn it all off and get back on track with healthy eating?

"You don't have to go shopping today, you can go work out!" said Thorne Donnelley, who spent the morning of Black Friday at the gym instead of the mall.

Overeating on Thanksgiving Day doesn't have to derail your fitness plan for the rest of the year.

People like Lois Serafini of West Palm Beach are pouring into local gyms for Turkey Burn classes.

"You always feel like you eat way too much, so that's a feeling for me to get going because you don't want to just sit there," she said.

Patti Wilmoth, a personal trainer at Ultima Fitness in downtown West Palm Beach, lead several classes on Friday designed to help clients burn off the Thanksgiving calories.

"Just the fact that you made it into the gym is an amazing feat in itself!" she said.

Wilmoth said the first step to solving your food hangover is water.

"Water is the amazing natural detox for your body and most people don't drink enough water anyway. So I would say at least half your body weight in ounces and then add another 20 to 30 ounces to that," she said.

Once you're hydrated, focus on cardio workouts.

"One of the best ways to start roaring up your metabolism is do some interval training," advises Wilmoth. "Get on some cardio machines and do some intervals like 30 seconds as hard as you can go, and then take a 30-second rest. Then do it again."

From there, just keep your body moving through the holidays. It helps with digestion and keeps you motivated for your exercise routine.

"Try to plan some type of activity, everyday. Even if you can't make it to the gym that day and even if you don't belong to a gym, everyone can get out, everyone can walk," said Wilmoth. "Get on your bicycle, get on your skateboard or go to the beach and take a walk. Plan some type of activity for every day of the week."

Finally, plan your meals around lean protein.

"Whole foods, fruits, vegetables. Things that are plants that come from the earth really help you detox," said Wilmoth.

If you want to add leftovers, only add small portions. Wilmoth advises to avoid going heavy on any of your leftovers.

"Give those away to your family, that's what I like to do," said Wilmoth.

Whatever your routine, the holiday feeding frenzy has just begun.

"It's only about 30 more days until Christmas," said Donnelley. "I've got to lose some weight to put some more weight on!"

Here are some more tips on creating your post-Thanksgiving health routine:

  • Start the day off right: Those who don't eat breakfast make poor choices later in the day and tend to consume more calories. Suggestions: oatmeal with walnuts, banana with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit (combine complex carbohydrate and lean protein)
  • Plan meals around lean protein and add only small portions of leftovers: White turkey meat, even dark meat, is healthy but try to avoid the skin. Eat plenty of vegetables with only small portions of the indulgence foods from the day before. Suggestions: salad with turkey and a small slice of sweet potato casserole on the side or little bites of things you enjoy bolstered with fresh vegetables
  • Prioritize your indulgences: don't take something of everything but rather pick the foods you enjoy the most. Suggestions: eat stuffing or mashed potatoes, but not both
  • Exercise: Get moving. It helps with digestion and starts the exercise routine. Suggestion: go for a walk with your family
  • Perspective: Keep Thanksgiving in perspective and remember it's only one day. Suggestion: get back to your regular routine on Friday, maintain exercise habits, and keep things in check when there aren't family gatherings or holiday parties