4 Ways to Burn Thanksgiving Calories Fast

What’s the fastest way to burn off all that turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie? Get-Fit Guy has 4 awesome tips to burn those Thanksgiving calories fast (no expensive gear required).

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #212

Although I certainly don’t endorse extreme gluttony and complete debauchery on the American holiday feast of Thanksgiving, I highly doubt that you plan on completely refraining from that extra helping of mashed potatoes or an overflowing ladleful of gravy – especially if you’re anything like me and you like to just let go and live every now and again.

Last year I tweeted that “The Average American eats about 3,000 to 3,500 calories during Thanksgiving. That's 14,500 jumping jacks!” Thankfully, there are faster and more fun ways to burn calories from the turkey extravaganza. Today, you’re going to get 4 quick and dirty tips to enhance the speed of your post-Thanksgiving calorie burn:

Tip #1: The 6-Minute Trick

While an after dinner stroll certainly doesn’t burn many calories (although it’s better than doing absolutely nothing at all), a recent study proved that a brief 6-minute exercise “snack" before a big meal is a time efficient and effective way to improve blood sugar control.


The study showed that an intense 6-minute walk (such as walking up a very steep hill, or on an incline treadmill) done 30 minutes before a big meal significantly improved glycemic response to the meal.

Since surges in blood sugar can lead to big deposits in belly fat, this is great news! Not going anywhere near a hill or a treadmill this Thanksgiving? No problem, you can also try this 6-minute trick with stairs, burpees, squats, and yes – even jumping jacks. So now there's no excuse.

Tip #2: Shiver, Baby, Shiver

I've written about the benefits of cold for weight control numerous times. Check out my articles How to Burn More Fat With Cold and How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight for tons of great tips.

I personally start and end every day with a cold shower. This practice can burn up to 500 extra calories per day! It can also stabilize your blood sugar levels and increase your hormone levels, notably adinopectin, which helps your body tap into its own fatty acids as fuel.

For even more benefits, you can keep your house a little cooler this winter (which has the added advantage of saving you money on your heating bill!), you can use cooling gear such as a vest or compression gear you can put ice into, and you can do morning “shiver” walks, during which you walk on an empty stomach in the morning for 20-45 minutes in cold weather with a hat, gloves, t-shirt, and shorts.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.