How to Have Your Turkey—And Eat it Too!

fat santaBy Lindsey Woodkey, CPT

The average American gains 5-7 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s. Don’t let yourself fall captive to this statistic this year! I’m here to ensure you have all the tools you need to face this holiday season head on. From workouts to recipes, you’ll be equipped with the best tools to overcome any obstacle.

First however, I am not telling you to stay away from all your favorite holiday dishes. What I am telling you, is to indulge in moderation, stay on your workout and cardio regimen, and when possible, make the healthiest choice you can. Like I’ve always said, “It’s not worth having the body of your dreams if you can’t live in it.” So yes, have your pumpkin pie and enjoy every second of it. Thank goodness Thanksgiving only comes once a year!

Let’s put things into perspective, shall we? The American Council on Exercise determined that the average person consumes over 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. This is more than double the calories we should eat in a day. Now, to burn off a 3,000 calorie feast, a 150 pound individual would have to run at 7 mph for 4.5 hours, swim for 5.5 hours, or walk over 30 miles. Not planning on spending your Black Friday walking a marathon? Then listen up.

Let’s Talk Calories- Making the Better Choice (Courtesy of Men’s Health)

Dinner # 1-

  • 6 oz White Meat Turkey (skin removed)
  • 2/3 cup Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Turkey Gravy
  • 1 small Dinner Roll
  • 1 cup Green Bean Casserole
  • ¼ cup Homemade Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 small slice Pumpkin Pie with Low Fat Whipped Cream

Dinner # 2-

  • 6 oz Dark Meat Turkey (skin removed)
  • 1 cup Stuffing
  • 2/3 cup Candied Yams
  • ½ cup Corn
  • 1 slice Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 small slice pecan pie

Drumroll Please—it should be pretty obviously that dinner # 1 is the better choice, but do you know by just how much? Dinner # 1 has around 700 calories, 61 grams protein, 85 grams of carbs, 20 grams of fat (11 of that saturated), and 1,240 grams of sodium. While this is in no way a “healthy” meal, let’s compare it to dinner # 2 which has 1,279 calories (over 500 more than dinner #1), 62 grams of protein, 159 carbs (almost double), 48 grams of fat with 22 grams of saturated fat (over double compared to dinner 1), and 1,890 mg of sodium. So, choose wisely, your waistline will thank you.


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