Fitness Guru: Don’t Become a Turkey on Thanksgiving

By Kristin Walton,

Freddy Krougar, Michael, or that crazy Saw movie guy have nothing when it comes to scaring me as when I read this: a typical Thanksgiving dinner is about 4,000 calories.

To burn this off, you would have to run for 7 hours, do 20 hours of yoga, or lift weights for 10 hours.

Holy cow, or turkey!

The problem a lot of my clients and boot campers face is that yes, you want to stay in shape but you also want to enjoy the holiday. So yes, this is my green light to say, enjoy! Eat!

BUT…stay in control of your eating. You can still be mindful, and indulge in the comfort food you love most. Say you love mashed potatoes, and the stuffing is just “ok” in your mind. Have a scoop of mashed potatoes, pile on that roasted garlic and go to town.

Enjoy every bite.

When it comes to the other side dishes who play second fiddle to you beloved potatoes, have three or four bites. Why consume huge quantities of food that you don’t completely enjoy?

Four rolls? Come on. No one needs four rolls, well maybe Michael Phelps. How about one? I like to make a “Thanksgiving roll sandwich” as seen on “Friends.” After this is over, I attack the salad and vegetables.

Dessert is hard. I could eat sugar all day. Imagine Homer Simpson with his mouth open under the slurpie machine and that’s me. Gross, I know. So here’s my trick. I take a small piece of pumpkin pie with out the crust and if my grandma made apple pie (hint, hint) I take a small piece of that but just eat the filling. I’m not a crust person and eating just the pumpkin is actually not too bad. Add some real whipped cream (about the size of a strawberry) so you feel satisfied.

Here are some other dinner tips:

  • Half of your plate should be vegetables. Go easy on the green bean and sweet potato casseroles. Take some fresh and in season veggies like squash and brussel sprouts, coat (lightly) in olive oil and sea salt and place in the broiler until golden brown. Who needs French fries when you can have this? Seriously, you’ll thank me.
  • Always stick to white meat for the turkey!
  • Gravy and stuffing have the most calories; a little goes a long way.
  • Remove skin from turkey meat.
  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk for any of the recipes.
  • Use chicken broth instead of milk and butter in potatoes (saves approximately 80 calories per cup of prepared potatoes).
  • Use fat free turkey broth for the gravy. Serve whole wheat or multi-grain dinner rolls (lower on the glycemic index scale and higher in fiber!)
  • Use a can of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup in the Green Bean Casserole

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Be safe and if you are running the Run to Feed the Hungry, I’ll see you there!

Some other great Web sites to look into healthy eating:,,

About Kristin Walton

Kristin Walton is a physical trainer in Sacramento. You can learn more about her Sweat Squad Boot Camp by visiting or emailing her direct at She specializes in conditioning training for athletes as well as fat loss.


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Posted by on Nov 24 2010. Filed under Health and Fitness, Thanksgiving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Comments for “Fitness Guru: Don’t Become a Turkey on Thanksgiving”

  1. Ryan

    can I have more info on bootcamp?

  2. I’ve invited the family round this xmas for a traditional dinner, so obviously the roast is pretty central to that.. I found a bunch of ideas at this roast recipe site, but cant decide on anyone in particular – there’s too many to choose from! It’s fun planning such a big family meal though!

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