Gobbled Too Much? What to Do Next

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
woman holding her stomach

Thanksgiving is officially over so let’s talk turkey: Did you overcome the urge to splurge or did you cave to the cornucopia of diet destruction?

According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories and a shocking 229 grams of fat during a typical Thanksgiving dinner.

And though it is widely understood that it takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound—meaning Thanksgiving excess doesn’t typically translate to huge amounts of weight gain, the problem is this: Many people never lose the one or two pounds of extra stuffing they accrue during the holidays.

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In a recently released Harris Poll, a third of respondents reported gaining weight during the two-month holiday period between Halloween and New Years Day. Of those that gained weight, 75 percent said they gained five or more pounds; 34 percent said they gained 10 pounds or more. Scary stuff considering that a 2000 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that holiday weight gain is not reversed during the spring or summer months. This means that even if your yearly weight gain is confined to five pounds over the holiday season, within five years, you’ll have gained a whopping 25 pounds!

So how do you avoid piling on the pounds this time of year? You get back on track with this DIY detox plan. You pick up right where you left off with your healthy habits so that one day’s fall off the weight loss wagon doesn’t become a permanent stay.

Drink fluids

Flush out the toxins of turkey day with a continuous flow of fluids. Stick with water, which will fill you up and cleanse your system, or plain green tea. Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may have a positive impact on metabolism and fat burning. If coffee is your beverage of choice, forego all cream and sugar today. You’ll save on calories, sugar and fat.

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Avoid sugar, fats and salt

After a big splurge, it’s important to reestablish a taste for food that isn’t drenched in sugar, salt or oil. Load up on extra fruits and veggies today, and choose lean meats or fishes seasoned with herbs and spices so that the fats you do eat are healthy ones.

Hit the gym

Torch some calories and give yourself a reboot with a good sweat session. Don’t go so hard that you hurt yourself and won’t be able to return to the routine for another week. Helpful tip: Get moving in the morning. Studies suggest that exercise can help suppress hunger hormones post-workout. By working in an a.m. workout, you may negate the need for a mid-morning snack.

Fill up on fiber

Fiber doesn’t just help you stay fuller longer, it helps restore your normal digestive function as well. Both benefits are especially important after a day of feasting. Fruits, veggies and whole grains are great high-fiber choices. Considering making a smoothie full of fibrous greens, flaxseeds or chia seeds and your favorite fruit to sweeten it up. Or chow down on a large, colorful salad.

Review your weight loss wins and weaknesses

Take some time today to assess how you did yesterday. With more holidays ahead, use your lessons learned to craft a slim-down strategy for the future festivities. Consider finding some healthier replacements to have on hand through the holidays. Nutrisystem offers a variety of delicious and guilt-free grab-and-go foods that are great to take with you as you holiday shop or hit the party scene all season long.