Go Ahead .....Eat the Whole Pie, it's Thanksgiving!
By Tim Crytser

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Now That's how to eat a pie!
Most articles that deal with holiday eating are about maintaining control and how to eat properly. Those articles tell you how to maintain your diet and how to be good little boys and girls throughout the holidays. This article is about the exact opposite. If you were expecting an article with advice on how to pass up on the dessert tray, eat smaller portions, and how to choose healthy side dishes this Thanksgiving, you are out of luck my friend! With this article I hereby declare an all out war on the buffet table and dessert trays all across America and give you permission to go crazy this Thanksgiving Day. And I'm not talking a little crazy; I'm talking don't get up from the table until all the turkey is finished, you've stuffed yourself full of sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, ham, dinner rolls and any pie that comes within 20 feet of your mouth crazy.

If by the end of dinner, you aren't so full that you have to rolled into the family room and hoisted up into your Bark-o-Lounger to watch the Cowboys and Lions, then you my friend have not finished eating. When you walk (or are rolled) past the dessert table you should hold out your grubby little hands and scoop up as much dessert as you can without spilling any. And don't just grab a little piece; grab a piece that would make David Pingree blush with envy. Oh what the heck, just grab the whole damn pie and make sure you empty the container of cool whip on top for extra credit. If that leaves you feeling a little too guilty you can always add a strawberry on top for good measure. It's the American way to eat until you feel like you are going to bust and then eat some more. I could go on and on about maintaining your diet and watching what you eat on Turkey day, but the fact of the matter is the economy sucks and the way things are going this may be our last chance to eat like true Americans. Besides that, just as you cannot get fit in one day, you can't get fat in one day either. If you exercise regularly and normally watch what you eat, your everyday eating and exercise habits will pull you through this one day of eating bliss. The key, of course, to eating like this is to recover and bounce back from your indulgences.

Ahhh, but that is the rub my friend: most people don't know how to stop after just one day. If this Thanksgiving you find yourself on the road and at the in-laws you may find it hard to pass up your mother-in-law's sweet potato casserole on Friday, Saturday or even Sunday. Truth is, if you add up the calories packed into just one Thanksgiving Feast, it's easy to conclude that you're on the road to a five-pound year-end bonus. When I crunched the numbers, I learned that a typical Thanksgiving dinner can easily top 3,000 calories and a full day worth of grazing could easily top 10,000 calories! Never fear though, if you splurge on Thursday, I'll show you how to recover on Friday and be ready to ride on Sunday.

Thanksgiving Feast

Servings Size





Turkey (White Meat)

3/3 oz slices






1 cup





Mashed Potatoes

1 cup






1/2 cup





Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup





Sweet Potato

1 large (4.6 oz)





Green-Bean Casserole

1 cup





Dinner Roll







3 pats (0.2 oz)





Pumpkin Pie

2 slices





Cool Whip

4 Tbsp





Red Wine

2/5 oz glasses





Totals Damage





Thanksgiving Toasts
The holidays are all about having a good time. And what better way to enjoy time with friends and family than over a good bottle of wine or a great beer? But be careful, those great drinks and salty snacks can leave you both dehydrated and bloated. Alternate cocktails with glasses of water to stay hydrated. And speaking of cocktails, mixers are the real menace. A shot of vodka, rum, whiskey, or gin has about 95 calories, but adding juice or soda can double or triple the tally. To help reduce the pain of the morning after hangover, make sure you chug a full glass before you go to bed--and another when you wake up. Throughout the next day, you'll feel better if you munch on foods that have a high water content (like fresh fruits and vegetables) and keep your sodium consumption to a minimum. Remember; hydrate or feel like death!

Friday Morning
You may find it hard to believe that you can stuff yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey and still end up hungry the next morning. This phenomenon happens after a huge meal because your body is so busy digesting that it enters your normal nighttime "hunger phase" in the morning. And the worst thing you can do is try to starve yourself in a vain attempt to make up for overeating. Instead, get back on track by grabbing a smart breakfast, one that energizes your body with 300 to 400 calories and includes high-quality carbohydrates, low-fat dairy, and fruit. Some good choices include yogurt with granola and berries; or whole-grain toast with cottage cheese and fruit.

Friday Workout
Hit the road for a long, slow run and then hit some weights.
Ahhh so you took my advice and ate yourself into a sugar induced coma. Don't worry, the one good thing about Thanksgiving dinner is that with all the potatoes and stuffing, it's a big carbo-load. That means the glycogen stores that fuel your muscles are full to capacity. In addition to lots of muscle-fueling carbs, your feast contained a good amount of protein, essential for rebuilding muscles that break down during a long run. Even better, you likely have the day off work, an invitation to forestall the mall pilgrimage for an hour (or more) on the move. This type of workout also fully compliments the aerobic base training you have been doing since the end of the season. Throw in some circuit weight training with your one hour of cardio and you will have burned close to 1000 calories and cleared your conscience of any wrong doings the day before.

Friday Leftovers
It simply wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the day-after remnants. And it's okay to eat them--especially the turkey--presuming you don't take my advice from yesterday. Turkey is a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie food. Just stick with white breast meat--a serving has 15 percent fewer calories and half the fat of dark pieces, and skip the fat-laden gravy . Here are three smart ideas for your leftover meat.

1. Enjoy a classic turkey sandwich, but put it on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard.

2. Toss a giant salad chock-full of veggies, and top it off with slices of turkey breast.

3. Use the bones to make turkey broth. Then cook with leftover meat, veggies, and barley.

And the helthiest part about Friday is all the pumpkin pie you stuffed yourself with the day before is gone! See, there was a reason to eat that last piece before bedtime. However, rather than trying to go cold turkey the next day, satisfy your sweet tooth with healthier treats like fresh fruit, all-fruit jams, and smoothies.

So this Thanksgiving, don't sweat the small stuff and give yourself a day to completely indulge and enjoy a day of guilt free excess. If you are a serious racer or weekend warrior, one day of over-eating is not going to erase all the hard work you have put in up to this point. Thanksgiving is a day for being thankful for what you have. So eat up, enjoy your family, and remember what's truly important in your life. Happy thanksgiving!
That's it for now. Until next time, good luck with your training and remember, VT can always be found on the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section . Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.  

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