Where will you be this Thanksgiving?
Will you be the one running around like a headless chicken (ahem… turkey!) with flour on your cheek and a gravy-stained apron? Or will you be the glutinous guest reveling in all the delicious options?
Either way, counting your macros doesn’t have to be a headache on Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is just one day on the calendar and your long-term health and fitness goals are for life. We’re here to help you stay on track so you can be the best version of yourself and keep charging forward to the finish line.
Here’s our guide to surviving the holidays with your macro goals intact.
Get in the Right Mindset
First, let’s take a deep breath and remember what this time of year is all about. The holidays are for relaxing, enjoying the company of family and friends, and making precious memories. While we don’t want you fretting over your macros and missing out on quality family time, it’s also important to hold true to your goals and beliefs every day of the year.
One of the best things about having a macro mindset is you can still enjoy all of your favorite holiday treats (cobbler, anyone?). The trick is to keep it balanced.
If you’ve been dreaming about your grandma’s famous pecan pie all year long, then enjoy! Just remember to count that scrumptious slice as part of your carbs and fat for the day.
Also, be sure to savor every bite. Research shows that people who are overweight chew their food 15 times or less before swallowing. Lean eaters, however, chew 40 times or more. While some scientists say this is because chewing your food more aids in digestion and reduces blood sugar spikes (which can cause cravings later), others say it has to do with mindfulness. Being aware of the way your food tastes and feels in your mouth can help you appreciate every bite and feel satisfied with less and without blowing your macro count out of the water.
Knowing you’ll be enjoying some Thanksgiving mystery dishes, be sure to do a little research and plan what you’ll be putting on your plate as much as possible. Even a little knowledge about how many carbs are in a traditional green bean casserole or how much fat is really in that slice of pumpkin pie can go a long way. We’ve gotten you started with the macros of some of our favorite holiday dishes below.
Next, equip yourself with all the tools you’ll need for the day if you’ll be traveling to someone else’s home for the holidays. Before heading out, drink at least 20 ounces of cold water. Bring your favorite water bottle with you and aim to fill it up at least 5 times before the day’s end.
If you have a hard time drinking plain water, bring a few packets of TruLemon or other zero-calorie flavoring with you. Drinking plenty of water all day long will not only help with your digestion, but will also make you feel a bit fuller and help you keep your voracious holiday appetite in check.
When it comes time to fill your plate, take full portions of the options you know are healthier (white meat turkey, salad, roasted veggies) and take smaller portions of the less healthy options. Take just enough to enjoy two or three mindful bites.
If they’re available, fill up on foods like lettuce, cabbage, celery, and leafy greens. These options are loaded with fiber to help you feel full and are healthy carb options for hitting your macros.
While you’re enjoying all those delicious dishes, here’s how you can keep a rough estimate of what you’re eating.
Thanksgiving is rife with stereotypical foods – and that’s why we love this day. We look forward all year to turkey, mashed potatoes, gooey green bean casserole, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
Luckily, that makes it a bit easier to estimate our macros on this all-American holiday. Check the chart below for your holiday favorites, serving sizes, and “somewhere around there” macro counts.
*Remember these are estimates, the macros will vary depending on the preparation. Weighing and measuring your food is always the most accurate way to track.
Once you’ve said your farewells to family and friends, let us know how you did! What was the hardest part of holiday eating for you? What was the best part?