How to eat for Thanksgiving (without having to pay the price)

Black Friday is now #maxfriday

First let’s start here, every year, in virtually EVERY gym you see the craziest workouts and it’s a missed opportunity. Think about it, when do you lift the most and lift the best, when you are well rested and full. So every year I test my maxes on the day after Thanksgiving and if I am feeling super frisky I do some drop sets after (lower weights higher reps). If you look at your journey as a combination of days the days you feel 100% and the strongest should be the days you lift. So that’s the first tip.

In terms of managing your food people mistakenly think their weight is up because of volume (and it might be a bit) but the real culprit is almost always sodium. If you normally manage your sodium pretty well and on this day you sodium things up a bit, it might take a few days but normalize that piece be more conscious of water for the next couple days and you will be able to deal with it easily.

No matter how you eat periods of UP should be in place, in fact, that should represent the majority of how you eat. Eat To Performers have 5 days where their calories are higher and only 2 days where their calories are lower so having one day where you enjoy life a bit should ALWAYS be part of the mix. Let’s be real, it’s not just the amount of food, most people are drinking and eating in a way very different from their norm, too much alcohol and it might take you a few days to clear, more carbs than normal, use Saturday as a day where you eat carbs in moderation.

Here is another tip that goes against previous advice I have given….


Try to detach yourself from the number and realize that you can use this weight to lift heavier things but also realize why you wouldn’t want to weigh yourself and that’s because you don’t want to know. If you can emotionally detach yourself from the situation you can use it to be more responsible. Let’s be real, if you knew you were going to weigh yourself the following day you might not let the rails come off and you might be more conscious of activity. Every year the morning of ThanksGiving my family does a 5k and like I said the day after I will be lifting weights pretty heavy.

How to manage your intake…Let’s be real, this is most people’s biggest meal of the year, in the past I would often delay breakfast but my family doesn’t eat until later so the option of waiting until the main meal would often lead to what I would call “aggressive snacking”. One of my “go to” meals is Oatmeal with peanut butter and protein powder. I eat it right before I go to my brother in law’s and it typically holds me over until the main course (about 4pm) where I don’t really hold back. In general I am going to enjoy myself because life is too short to be overly restricted all of the time. This of course doesn’t mean there aren’t times to tighten the belt a bit….

Most people’s issue isn’t that one day it’s that they let that one day slide into other days, I ALWAYS make sure I have my regular “go to’s” ready after Thanksgiving because it’s too easy to just let your guard down and have an irresponsible weekend. Here is how mine sets up, I already described how I manage my Thanksgiving, I eat relatively normal and non-restricted on Friday but much less than the previous day (I keep carbs in the mix for workout purposes). On Saturday (in ETP land that’s normally my SUPER day) I eat my lowest carb day which is still not unreasonably low, right not on my low day I am at 299 grams of carbs and I feel like I am going to die every single time I am that low. That’s also a day I will do cardio and abs and I suspect the following morning my weight will pretty much be back to normal.

I think it’s sad that the health and fitness industry doesn’t have a mechanism for people living life without shame or guilt because let’s be real, we all do. We all have strategies that allow us to enjoy our lives, I think the underlying idea is that “we get to have it but you guys don’t because right now you have to carry this huge burden but in 14 days you are going to be fixed”. Then 14 days comes and people realize they gnawed on celery on Thanksgiving for nothing. Hopefully this helps people a bit more.