Health – How to survive Thanksgiving and not gain Weight


It’s just around the corner, the day we give thanks by stuffing our faces with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I can almost feel my pant button popping as I write this.

I’m gonna be realistic. I don’t think it’s possible to lose weight on Thanksgiving, but I do think it’s possible to maintain your current weight and not gain. It’s all about what you’re going to do on Wednesday the 27th and Friday the 29th, while still enjoying the big day (no pun intended).

* On Wednesday the 27th, you’re going to eat mainly fruits and vegetables, some nuts, beans and legumes. No meats, no processed foods, no bread, no white rice or noodles, no simple carbs etc. Got it? Also, I want you to make sure to drink 2 extra glasses of water on this day. And, if you usually have a beer or glass of wine with dinner, skip it on the 27th please. (We’re shaving off lots of calories on this day.)

* On Friday the 29th, you’re going to move, move, move. You’re going to get in 60-90 minutes of cardio. You can split it up half in the morning, half in the evening, but get it in. It can be speed walking, jogging, hiking, elipitcal, stairmaster. Whatever you chose do it 100%, work up a sweat, and stay committed. I repeat, 60-90 minutes. You can do it! We’re burning off lots of calories on this day. You’ll also want to be strict with your food portions on this day, but go ahead and eat well balanced meals, even if it’s some leftovers from Thanksgiving, but be sure to avoid any left over deserts from Thanksgiving. That’s off limits now. I know I know, life is tough.

Oh and what about the 28th..Thanksgiving you ask? No worries. Enjoy and make the most of it. However, I would eat about half of what you normally eat for breakfast, and avoid “seconds” during Thanksgiving dinner (but do go ahead and fill up a hearty size plate). And, do enjoy desert. One piece of something of your choice, even the most decadent looking pie or cake. Have fun, laugh with friends and family, watch football, just be yourself and be thanksful for what you/we have.

So really, what we’re doing is just being sensible and realistic here in this scenario. I want you to enjoy your holiday. But, it’s the sacrifices we make the day before and the day after that are the most important part of NOT gaining weight from a Thanksgiving Day celebration.


Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
818.760.3891 Main
310.562.5629 Cell