How to eat a huge FEAST and still stay lean

It seems that Thanksgiving week every year, all I keep seeing everywhere in the media and in fitness articles is how you need to control yourself this Thanksgiving so you don't pack on the pounds from the feasting.

These articles and news stories tell you how you need to "control your portions", or eat "low-fat gravy" (and other garbage fitness advice) and be disciplined on this holiday where you'll be tempted to stuff your face with stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, yams, and all of the pies and desserts.

Well, I have a WAY different opinion on this. 

In fact, why should we restrict at all?  After all, in the US, it's only 1 day per year that you have this enormous Thanksgiving feast. Why not just eat as much as you want?

Seriously, 1 day of feasting out of a full year is NOT going to make or break the results you're getting with your fitness routine, as long as you make sure a massive feast like this is a VERY rare occasion.

As a matter of fact, even if you decide to feast on every holiday that you celebrate throughout the year, this is still only going to be maybe 5 or 6 feasts per year.

That's only about 1 feast every 2 months on average... certainly nothing that is worth worrying about in terms of your fitness results.

In fact, as you know, I've written about a similar topic like this many times before, when we talk about having a weekly "cheat day"...

Now keep in mind, I would consider a weekly cheat day to be a step below a Thanksgiving feast in terms of calories... but the fact remains that OCCASIONAL overeating can actually have surprising benefits to revamping your metabolic rate via the leptin hormone response (this triggers your body to "crank up" your metabolism again if you've been restricting calories previously).

I will stress though, when it comes to the scale of feasting that typically comes with Thanksgiving meals in the US, that this really does only mean occasional feasting. This means that you still do have to control your caloric intake the majority of the time if you want the lean body you're looking for.

But my main point of this email is that I think it's downright silly to sit there on Thanksgiving or any other holiday celebration for that matter and try to restrict yourself too much when these holidays are really only a few days out of the entire year.

Heck, even if you went hogwild and ate an EXTRA 3500 calories on thanksgiving compared to your normal day (let's say your average is 2000 calories/day and you ate 5500 calories on thanksgiving, which is actually hard to eat that much), that would still only mean a weight gain of ONE pound...that's it!  Now keep in mind the weight on the scale may go up 3-4 lbs at night time after a huge feast, but that's simply the weight of the food you're digesting, as well as water weight that your body is holding onto from all the glycogen in your cells.  That weight will disappear the next day after you poop, pee, and sweat a little.

Just make sure to get your normal healthy diet back on track the very next day after the Thanksgiving feast.  The reason some people gain 10-15 lbs throughout the 6 weeks from thanksgiving to new years every year is because they use the holidays as an excuse to pig out constantly during that entire time frame.  If you still ate well 6 days a week during that time frame and exercised regularly too, none of that weight gain would happen at all.

So I say... go right ahead and eat as much as you want on it up and enjoy!  I know I will be stuffing my face on Thanksgiving, and this is coming from a fitness nut that stays very lean year round.

Just be sure you make it to the gym the day after Thanksgiving for a SUPER high intensity resistance training workout.

In fact, training hard with weights the day after Thanksgiving will give you the best pump you'll feel all year long from the super-saturated muscle glycogen in your muscle cells.  I actually LOVE to do a really high volume "muscle pump" style workout the day after thanksgiving to really get that great pumped up feeling and help utilize all of that stored muscle glycogen.  What I mean by "muscle pump" style workout is really just doing higher than normal reps and sets to really "burn" the muscle.

Alright, enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!  And if you do this right, you can actually benefit from the T-day feast by boosting your metabolism (via leptin response) and also get the best pump of the year in your weight training workout the day after Thanksgiving.

I say... Feast hard, train hard!

Personally, I enjoy at least 1 day of overeating every week, and I do this for a strategic reason to stimulate my metabolism and leptin levels. 

Also, did you know that there is a specific ORDER of what you eat your foods at each meal that will greatly help control your blood sugar and insulin response?  My friend and carb-cycling expert Shaun shows you how to benefit from this order of eating here:

The best order to eat your foods that controls blood sugar and insulin

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home