3 Methods To Manipulate Turkey Day

3 Methods To Manipulate Turkey Day

November 26, 2013 /// Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

The fourth Thursday in November. A day of feast, football, and sleep. The meal that initiates the inevitable holiday weight gain, plaguing our country each year.  Luckily, there are a few tricks and options you can implement to off-set any food storage and manipulate the effects of overindulgence. Time to take control of your turkey day!


The Ability To Eat As Much As You’d Like And Not Gain Any Weight


1. Exercise Beforehand

2. Eating Strategy

3. Next-Day Fasting


Exercise Beforehand

This is pretty self-explanatory: Exercise prior to your epic meal. It’s best to workout within 48 hours of the meal; I would recommend the day of. Remember, you have 5 major muscle groups (back, shoulders, chest, legs, and arms). It’s best to exhaust each group to some degree in order to initiate the beneficial hormones that will help shuttle all your food into the muscles and control your blood sugar levels. 

If you choose to exercise beforehand, utilize compound movements. Compound movements are time-efficient and use multiple muscle groups to perform the exercise. Below are examples of compound movements for each of the major muscle groups:

BACK: Pull-Ups, Cobras, Rows, Pull-Downs

SHOULDERS: Planks, Overhead/Military Presses, Lateral Raises

CHEST: Push-Up, Bench Press (Any Variation)

LEGS: Lunges, Squats, Deadlifts, Leg Presses

ARMS: Dips, Bicep Curls, Skull-crushers

I listed one compound body-weight exercise first for each muscle group. This allows you to exercise anywhere with no equipment.


1. Pick a few compound movements and exhaust your body in any way possible.

2. Hydrate constantly up until your Thanksgiving meal.

My Stepmother Judy and I getting in our early workout Thanksgiving 2012.

My Stepmother Judy and I getting in our early workout Thanksgiving 2012.


Eating Strategy

If you’d rather not exercise beforehand, you can still eat what you want and not endure any negative repercussions. Your strategy is based on manipulating what foods you eat first.

Your focus is to eat as much protein and veggies as possible PRIOR to any carbohydrates and desserts. Foods like turkey, chicken, roast beef, etc. and just about any veggies are your target foods before any sugar enter your palate. Once you inhale your protein and veggies… GO NUTS! Seriously. Chances are the fiber from the veggies and the nitrogen from the protein will already initiate the “full” sensation in your stomach. So, even if you decide to experience gluttony, you will not eat nearly as much because your blood sugar will be regulated and your stomach will be expanded.  WIN-WIN.


1. Eat your food following the PV strategy.

2. Hydrate constantly during Thanksgiving meal.

3. Go NUTS!

Protein and Veggies FIRST!

Protein and Veggies FIRST!


Next-Day Fasting

This is great for the individual who does not want to exercise beforehand and has no interest in strategizing their food intake on Thanksgiving. Your task is to prolong your first bite of food on Friday. Water, coffee, and tea are all encouraged throughout the day. Instead of eating breakfast, be comfortable knowing you have PLENTY of food/nutrients that your body is still processing from the Thanksgiving meal(s). Wake up, stay hydrated, and aim for your first bite of food on Friday to be well into the evening. Then, get right back on track with your normal eating habits. This is a great way to reset your insulin from the spikes and rebalance your hormones from the excessive food intake.


1. Eat whatever you’d like on Thursday.

2. Wake up Friday and hydrate ONLY.

3. Begin eating Friday evening.

Give your stomach a BREAK!

Give your stomach a BREAK!



If you want to really out due every social expectation and keep your body free of weight gain, incorporate all three methods. Your Thanksgiving schedule would be as follows:

  1. Workout multiple muscle groups using compound movements on Thursday morning.
  2. Eat a ton of protein & veggies at the beginning of your Thanksgiving feast.
  3. Proceed to pies, cakes, desserts, drinks, and treats until you slip into a food coma.
  4. Sleep like a baby and hydrate throughout the day on Friday.
  5. Begin a normal eating pattern Friday evening.


So… what’s your method(s) of manipulating Turkey Day? 

Whatever you choose, I wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!