How To Eat As Much As You Want On Thanksgiving And Not Gain Weight



A time to give thanks for all that we have, and spend time with our family and loved ones.

Aw, sh*t; who am I kidding?

It’s “Go Time” to “Chow Down!”

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and 20 different kinds of pie!?


I don’t know about you, but by the day’s end I plan to be on the couch with my hand down my pants like Al Bundy.

“Go away, Peg!”

Many of you might refer to this feeling as “Itis.”

Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it.

Being a child of divorce, this holiday, like most, usually includes at least two meals spread throughout the course of the day across multiple venues.

I usually start eating around 2 pm and don’t stop until well into the evening.

While this is pretty awesome in my opinion, I understand that this time of year can be quite stressful for those of you who are trying to lose weight and get your body fat levels in check.

That’s why you might be interested to know that despite the massive amounts of food ingested on this day, I usually wake up on Black Friday leaner and lighter than I was the day before.

I know.

Sounds crazy, right?

Allow me to break it down for you.

The Notorious N.D.T

It’s all about “glycogen depletion.”

Muscle glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in the body.

When carbohydrates are ingested, the body releases insulin, a “storage” hormone.

Insulin is created in the pancreas for the regulation of the amount of glucose sugar present in the bloodstream.

Excess glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in our liver and muscle cells.

This is the fuel that hard anaerobic exercise requires.

Pretty cool, right?

Here’s the catch: once those cells are full, any additional glucose consumed will be converted to fat.

We don’t want this.

This is where “glycogen depletion” comes in to play.

Going in to Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll want to make sure your glycogen levels are as low as possible!

This will ensure that all of the mashed potatoes, stuffing, casseroles, and desserts you eat will go to replenishing muscle glycogen and very little (if any) will be stored as fat.


Here’s How You Do It:

1. Make sure you have been eating a low carb diet anywhere from 3-7 days BEFORE Thanksgiving.

2. Perform an intermittent fast the night before and into the morning of Thanksgiving; in a nut shell, don’t eat anything for 14-16 hours AFTER having dinner on Wednesday the night before.

3. Perform a brief, intense workout the morning of Thanksgiving at the tail end of your fast – it should last anywhere from 30-60 minutes, and should consist of (A) a sprint session or (B) strength training.

Light exercise like walking or jogging WILL NOT cut it.

We are looking for intense, anaerobic activity.

If you drink coffee, consume a cup or two 30-45 minutes before said session.

4. About 30-60 minutes AFTER training, you will have your first meal of the day. This meal should be very light and consist of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats – think 3 egg omelette with sauteed onions, spinach, and peppers. 

If you are not eating until later in the evening, and you must have another meal, stick to the same formula: low carb, high protein, healthy fats – think chicken breast and salad.


6. Fast for an additional 14-16 hours after your last meal on Thanksgiving.


That’s how I do it every year, folks.

Fast, Workout, Give Thanks, Crush Food, Sleep, Repeat. 

It’s simple.

Remember that this time of the year should be enjoyed.

Just because you are trying to lose weight, doesn’t mean you should be miserable.

All it takes is a little planning and a bit of work.

Follow the steps I listed above, and make sure you enjoy every bit of Thanksgiving (including the food) with the people you love most in this world.


All jokes aside, this is indeed a time to reflect on the past year and all of our blessings.

Make sure you give thanks for all that you have, and for the fact that you are healthy and able to celebrate this holiday with family and friends.

With that being said, I’d like to let you all know how truly thankful I am for all of the support I have received since I started writing this blog.

To anyone who’s read or subscribed to the blog, shared my posts on social media, or passed it along to friends and family:

I would have never been able to do it without you.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. 


Author: J.J.Valdivia

I have worked in the health and fitness industry for a decade. Through my personal work with clients, and my writing, I strive to help others become more well-rounded human beings, so that they may thrive in all areas of their lives.

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