Tips to Avoid Overeating this Thanksgiving

By: Brian Elder

One of the biggest pitfalls for runners during the Thanksgiving holidays is the calorie load they consume during the meal (or meals...guilty) they eat. According to the Calorie Control Council, the Average American consumes 4,500 calories on a typical thanksgiving holiday gathering due to overindulging, fatty foods, and snacking. If you go to a couple of these thanksgiving holiday meals, before you know it, you could be reaching near 10,000 calories in a few days from all the eating. If running a mile burns roughly 100-125 calories, to burn off those calories, you will need to run anywhere from 40 to 100 MILES!!! That is 211,200 to 528,000 steps! To help avoid this problem, we have listed some tips during the thanksgiving holidays to keep from overindulging. 

  1. Plan Ahead. One of the things that makes overeating so easy is that there is just so much food in front of you. If you don't think about it and prepare a mental plan ahead of time, it is understandable that you would eat a lot. Make a plan and get yourself ready mentally to avoid overeating. If you know you cant resist the temptations the day of thanksgiving, try eating healthy for a few days before and after. 

  2. Don't Deprive. One of the common mistakes to keep from overeating is to remove the things from our diet that maybe aren't the most healthy, but what we enjoy most. This is usually true as people try to remove sweets around the holidays. While its not bad to get rid of unhealthy food, removing them completely is something that will likely lead to failure because it sets the bar too high by removing them cold-turkey (pun intended). 
  3. Drink Water. This seems to be the answer to every health and nutrition related question, but it certainly applies here. Staying hydrated is not only good for you, but fills up your stomach so that you will be full sooner and consume less. 
  4. Choose a Favorite. Some people approach the table during the holidays with the mindset that there are so many choices that "I must" try them all. Change your mindset and choose your favorite. What desert or side dish are you going to enjoy the most? Eat it and avoid the dish you know you can live without. 
  5. Go for a Run. Just because its the holidays doesn't mean that you should stop running! The holidays and the extra time we have off is a great reason to add a few more miles and even bring a friend or family member. Run connected during the holidays.  

Brian Elder is a learner, amateur explorer, and nomadic runner that is going to run until it takes him somewhere. He is a senior at the University of Georgia studying English and Religion.  After running competitively on trails and roads, he fuels with an appetite so big you would swear it’s competitive.  Follow Brian on Instagram.