Or how to keep from undoing all your hard work in one day.
According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering from snacking and eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.
The average Thanksgiving dinner can carry a load of 3,000 calories. (Remember that 3,500 calories = 1 lb. of fat). Snacking and drinking throughout the day can add an additional 1,500 calories. Combined, that’s the equivalent of more than 2 -1/4 times the average daily calorie intake and almost 3 -1/2 times the fat — 45 percent of calories coming from fat. The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.
Here’s the breakdown:
Many of us think that the holiday season is for over indulging and celebrating and that they will hit the gym in January and get back in shape.
But as those of us that have struggled to lose those last few pounds can tell you, that is easier said than done. It is not necessary to place a moratorium on holiday festivities in order to stave off the additional pounds. Good planning and healthy eating habits when not indulging in the festivities will keep you ahead of the game.
Try these “Low-Fat Holiday” tips from the American Heart Association:
- Eat lower-fat and reduced-calorie foods for days in advance of the holiday feast, and for days after.
- Prepare for handling your worst temptations; if you want both pecan and pumpkin pie, take a tiny slice of each, instead of a full serving.
- If cooking, provide low-fat foods, or ask if you can bring a low-fat dish.
- After the meal, start a tradition — a holiday walk, for instance.
Thirdly, exercise regularly during the holidays. Make it part of your routine to hit the gym, go for a walk or simply park at the back of the parking lot at the mall instead of closest to the door.
Here are some activities and their corresponding calorie expenditure in 1 hour. The lower number is for 130 lb. person, the larger number for 205 lb. person.
For additional activities click here.
The fourth thing you can do is to perform a vigorous exercise post feast. Take advantage of the “afterburn” effect. Many studies have concluded that High intensity interval training has been shown to elicit an even greater post-workout burn, as has resistance training performed at quick paces and/or high intensity. HIIT and Tabata timing based exercises elicit an “afterburn effect” — which is more officially known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC. The idea being that short burst of “maximum” effort exercise performed for a period of 30 minutes or more will offer a metabolic change where the body will use consumed carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores as opposed to being stored as fat.
In plain English – High intensity exercises classes such as Instanity, LeBoot, LeHIIT and Interval based indoor cycle classes can actually help you burn off those excess calories quicker.
The Firm Cardio Studio is offering two Indoor Cycle Classes Thursday Morning — One at 7:00 a.m. and one at 8:00 a.m. Both classes are FREE, so bring a friend!