9 Ways to Burn Those Thanksgiving Pounds Fast

Here are 9 tips to burn off those Thanksgiving pounds before the dishes are done. (Bonus: most of these don't require a gym.)

Brock Armstrong,
Episode #364

staying fit holiday season

The United States is poised to consume a whopping 51,650,000 turkeys during Thanksgiving. With each turkey coming in at 13,878 calories (771 calories per pound of meat), that is a heck of a lot of excess calories—and we haven’t even gotten into the side dishes.

The average American consumes about 3,500 calories during a Thanksgiving meal and according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, it breaks down like this:

  • Annual consumption of turkey by the average American is 16 pounds.

  • Annual tons of green beans produced is 659,340 tons.

  • Pounds of sweet potatoes produced annually is 2.4 billion pounds.

  • Total barrels of cranberries produced annually is 7,600,000 barrels.

Sure, not all of those are consumed in just that one festive meal but an awful lot are and when you indulge in large meals like this, aside from derailing your fitness goals, some pretty scary health issues can follow. Researchers have actually found that there’s an increase in your risk of dying from a heart attack after indulging in a hefty meal. Yikes!

Let’s face it though, you’re probably going to have at least one big meal on Thanksgiving Day (and likely another later in December), potentially along with larger amounts sitting on your butt consuming more alcohol than you normally do.

With gyms closed, what are some things you can do to maximize your calorie burning potential and limit the damage from all that excessive eating?

So, with most gyms closed, what are some things you can do to maximize your calorie burning potential and limit the damage from all that excessive eating? How will you keep your fitness, weight loss, or just plain good health in check during this monstrous eating time?

A few years ago the Get-Fit Guy tweeted, “The Average American eats about 3,000 to 3,500 calories during Thanksgiving. That's 14,500 jumping jacks!” Thankfully, over the years the Get-Fit Guy dynasty has revealed that there are better, faster, and more fun ways to burn calories than doing thousands of jumping jacks. I'm going to round them up for you in this one helpful location.

9 Thanksgiving Exercise Tips

  1. Tip #1: The 6-Minute Boost
  2. Tip #2: Shiver
  3. Tip #3: The Best Workout for Fat Loss
  4. Tip #4: Grease the Groove
  5. Tip #5: Use 10-Minute Workouts
  6. Tip #6: Use Some Body Weight Moves
  7. Tip #7: Plan Ahead!
  8. Tip #8: Don’t Stress Out
  9. Tip #9: Don’t Give In

Let's dive deeper into each exercise tip.

Tip #1: The 6-Minute Boost

Sure, an after-dinner stroll certainly doesn’t burn many calories (though it is better than sitting on the couch with your feet up), but a recent study proved that a brief 6-minute bout of movement before a big meal is a pretty darn effective way to improve blood sugar control.

The study showed that an intense 6-minute walk (such as jogging or walking up a very steep hill) done 30 minutes before a big meal significantly improved the subject’s glycemic response to the meal and since surges in blood sugar can lead to dastardly unwanted deposits of belly fat, this is good news!

You can also try this 6-minute trick by going up and down a set of stairs, doing burpees, bodyweight squats, and sure, even jumping jacks will do the trick. Just keep it to six minutes instead of 14,500.

Tip #2: Shiver

The Get-Fit Guy hopper is filled with information about the benefits of cold for weight control. Check out the articles How to Burn More Fat With Cold and How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight for some helpful and informative tips.

I generally start pretty much every day with a cold shower (although this started when I was a child and my grandfather told me that a "true gentleman saves the hot water for the ladies"). Whatever the rationale, this practice can help burn up to 500 extra calories per day! It can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels and increase some of your hormone levels including adinopectin which is a hormone that helps your body tap into its own fatty acids as fuel.

For even more of those cool benefits, or if you live somewhere that isn’t all that cold in the winter, you can keep your home a little cooler this winter, or invest in some cooling gear like a vest or compression clothes that you can slip ice packs into. You can also do “shiver walks” where you go for a walk on an empty stomach in the morning for 20-45 minutes in cold weather wearing only a hat, gloves, t-shirt, and shorts. I know, it sounds uncomfortable, but once you do it a few times, it gets addictive and invigorating.


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