Thanksgiving Calories: The Bad Numbers and What to Do

You’ve seen the calorie bombs for Thanksgiving

Average person consumes 4500 calories (maybe).
The pumpkin pie with whipped cream is almost 400 calories.
The real glass of wine you drink is 300 calories (no one does a 4 ounce pour).
The sky is falling and you likely hear “Go to the gym”.

Starting an exercise program is ok- talk to your doctor first

In spite of what it says, you won’t exercise the calories away in a day

Listening to your favorite podcast at the gym is a good routine

Listening to your favorite podcast at the gym is a good routine

 

Let’s Talk Turkey
The Bad Numbers About Thanksgiving

Hunt Stomach

Don’t eat until you are uncomfortable. Take your time. Enjoy your food.

 

  • If you manage to eat 4500 calories, know that you’ve gained ¾ of a pound of fat if you do nothing that day but sit at home and watch TV.
  • The gyms all want you to believe you can burn 600 calories in 1 hour- (it’s on Google, so it must be true right?) Wrong, you can’t burn 600 calories at the gym.
  • Get up and move. Think, every hour you walk is 100 calories. (I know, Google says more) but seriously- when scientists measure calories burned, it will be about 100 calories an hour for most people.
  • The clear answer is to not over indulge. That’s no fun.

Go Heavy on the Vegetables

This is a plate full of turkey and broccoli. One full plate here and total calories 300!

This is a plate full of turkey and broccoli. One full plate here and total calories 300!

Not the candied yams (who on earth thought about putting marsh mellows on top of sweet potatoes?) Make this the center of your plate. A full cup of broccoli is 30 calories — thirty! Have a cup of it and see.

Drink a Full Glass of Water Before You Eat
If you’re eating later, this takes away the urge to eat fast and furious.

Go Slow: Take Your Time Eating

Take your time eating. Some use chopsticks to take time. It isn't a race. Enjoy the food

Take your time eating. Some use chopsticks to take time. It isn’t a race. Enjoy the food

Give your body a chance to say “I’m full” before you overwhelm it with another plate. Think: your first 20 bites should take 20 minutes. Take your time with that first bit of food. Relax, converse – drink more water. Small bites, small utensils – even chop sticks.

Don’t Graze the Day Away

Confine your meal time. Don't Graze the day away.

Confine your meal time. Don’t Graze the day away.

Think: the food is for your meal – it’s not an all day buffet.

No One is Watching You Eat
It is not a competition about how much you can eat. Or how full you can fill your plate.

Variety: Take A Bit of Everything
Do not pile your plate. Spread things out on your plate – load up on the vegetables.

Watch the Booze
Red Wine

Family time is not a good time for booze. If you are hosting the dinner, have a limited supply. If someone is going to use your house to watch football all day and drink beer, well – you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, then became a renowned weight loss surgeon, and a leading advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he advocates teaching people to improve their health through their food. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcom Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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