family at dinner table with woman laughing

Here in the United States, we’re celebrating one of the biggest holidays of the year this week — Thanksgiving. A time of year for us to practice gratitude, spend time with loved ones, and also start what is typically one of the most treacherous times of the year for those who are trying to watch their weight.  Thanksgiving, while serving as the official start for the holiday season, also serves as an unofficial day for many American’s to eat well past their heart’s content. Typically to the tune of about 3,000 calories in just the main Thanksgiving meal alone.

At Stronger U, most of us Coaches have already started fielding a number of questions from our clients about how exactly they should handle Thanksgiving, which is something we love! After all, there’s no better way to lean on your Coach for support than to reach out during what is one of the most challenging times of the year to be on a diet.

But something else we also understand is that for you, sometimes the most important lesson doesn’t come from a Coach. Instead, that lesson might be best learned from someone who is in a more similar situation. Someone that is navigating their way through this journey in all the same ways you are. There’s a certain gravitas that comes with your Coach offering up a suggestion, but that lesson carries a bit more weight when what your Coach says echoes the sentiments of what hundreds of other Stronger U Members are planning on doing as well.

Which is exactly why Mike put out a call in the Facebook group to the Members of Stronger U. We didn’t just want to know what our Coaches had to say. We wanted to know how YOU wanted to handle Thanksgiving. Below are some of your answers!

Bethanne: “Goal for Thanksgiving is to try to stay within calories!”

Lisa: “Eat only what I love and save all my carbs and fats for that meal. I am not hosting so leftovers will not be an issue, especially desserts.”

Alicia: “I have a Friendsgiving this weekend, going to eat a protein filled breakfast and save my macros for dinner. Have my plate be mostly veggies and turkey with a small side of potatoes and stuffing. On Thanksgiving, I will be doing to same but I will prob have a slice of pie, not going overboard, and won’t stuff myself, but I will enjoy and get back on track the following day.”

Mary: “I’m going to hit my macros every day up to, and after Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving, I’ll have what I love but not eat like an asshole. I don’t want to feel like shit for the whole day.”

Colette: “I only put things on my plate that I really like not just because it’s there. I have had 2 successful thanksgivings since I started SU so I have no stress about it.”

Waseem: “Very simple. Just log what you can eat in your Macros and stick to the plan. If you slip and eat more that’s okay, it’s just one meal. And the biggest thing is don’t let mistakes repeat and indulge in leftovers after. Happy Thanksgiving!”

Deb: “I’m going to let that one meal be what I want to eat. Protein shake in the morning, big workout prior. Then right back at it on Friday. I’m looking forward to enjoying every bite!”

Bun: “Vegetarian here…. reasonable portions of veggies (typically high carb) and bring my own protein – or eat it when I get home. I will NOT hang near the appetizer table to avoid eating chips, candy, etc.”

Jerome: “1 day out of 365.25 days is .27% percent of my year. 1 day out of my 182 days with Stronger U is .54% of my progress. One day isn’t going to derail the 99% of my year/program. I will track as much as I can, enjoy my family and friends, be thankful for my health and new outlook and relationship with food. Then, on Friday, get right back to it. It’s just one day.”

Chastity: “I think I will mostly eat turkey all day. Alllll day. I don’t even care about anything else. I’m hosting so I know the sides that will be available and I can make them anytime I want. No reason to shovel them in on Thanksgiving. But the turkey is special.”

Melinda: “Cooking all day so eating up until the meal will be a sampling of what’s being made. Some egg whites for extra protein. The big family meal I am not tracking at all. I’ll eat what I want but in reasonable portions with a goal of not feeling like I may explode when I’m done.”

Katie: “I am making a late breakfast…egg white and sweet potato breakfast bake. Going to run a 5k and then spend the rest of the day with family not counting.”

Rachel: “I honestly don’t believe in depriving myself, maybe that is how I got here ?? LOL but, I will eat what I want for Thanksgiving dinner, just no seconds and no leftovers. And I will be sure to hit the gym the night before or that morning so I don’t feel as guilty.”

Jaye: “I know this isn’t for everyone but a few years ago I got fed up (no pun intended) with the fact that EVERYTHING around the holidays was food. So my kids are grown and now we go away for active vacations over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We dive in warm places, we ski in cold places – anything where the focus is on not just on being together but also movement. Best decision we made.”

Colin: “WOD and run in the am. Light breakfast, light lunch. Eat dinner with an eye on portion size and enjoy all that I can on Thursday. I will use my new found portioning abilities and estimate and track dinner. Then Bring meals to the in-laws for Friday through Sunday. Thursday is 1 priority, the rest are 3s.”

Jen: “My in-laws cooking would make Paula Deen blush. I am always in charge of salad, lol. Everyone eats it though! I make it super colorful and keep toppings on the side so everyone can make it their own way. The kids love it. I serve mixed greens and spinach, with sides of chopped strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, goat cheese crumbles, cucumbers, tomatoes. And I serve a raspberry vinaigrette as well as a homemade vinaigrette. I fill the plate with salad and then I drop a few slabs of turkey on top for protein. I do save room for stuffing, which I only get once a year so it’s worth the macros.”

Kaley: ” I’m hosting. I’m building all my recipes in MFP so I am aware of the macros for each item. I am planning to go over my allotted macros for the day, but I am still building my recipes in order to have the knowledge of the different dishes so I can determine what is worth it to me. I’m also going to cut back on fat where possible in my recipes. Just because the sweet potatoes recipe recommends 2tbsp of coconut oil doesn’t mean I can’t use 1tbsp instead. I’m also planning to eat light for breakfast (like good ole egg whites) to save up some room and I am going to plan to complete a workout like normal.”

Rick: “One of my 18 untracked days for the year. 18 days = 5 percent of the year. On for 95 percent…. consistency is key.”

Becky: “I plan on staying in my pj’s all day with my kids, making a fort, eating on the couch, enjoying fresh popcorn, watch a movie, and eat takeout. I will be having dessert and coffee.”

Stacey: “I’ve organized a neighborhood run that morning around my subdivision! So I’ll be running and getting my workout in early. Then plan to avoid the appetizers, eat turkey and a few small sides that I enjoy. Saving macros for dessert!!”

Steve: “I don’t plan on tracking, but knowing what I know, I can get a solid dose of protein and veggies with dinner, and can easily eliminate not so healthy options, like stuffing, gravy, etc. Dessert is where it gets tricky. I’m not eliminating dessert, but I plan on only one piece of pie. It will take willpower to keep it that way. Also used to have a few beers after dinner watching football. Now, I’ll drink water and a Coke zero or a Bang as a treat!”

Ty: “It’s basically a vacation week for me. There are the meals leading up to Thanksgiving (and it’s celebratory so no time for ‘macro friendly’ but I’ll certainly try). There will be trigger foods in the house. There will be a big game and a birthday celebration as well (myself) while there. Best thing to do is be mindful of portions. Limit the treats, enjoy the company and remember that the next day or even the return to Chicago is a return to my “normal” life.”

Lisa: “On maintenance for over a year so – Untracked but eat within some type of moderation and right back on track the next day. Already had one Friendsgiving and did fine.”

Holly: “I will be halfway through week 7 with SU. I have never been so happy for Thanksgiving to be here. I told my husband that yesterday and he giggled at me. I have learned so much in just 6 weeks with SU and have had such amazing results already. I’m giving myself a FREE day of food. I’m not stressing, I’m enjoying family and food within reason. I know what I should and shouldn’t eat, I know self-control, and I’ve learned to make sensible choices. It’s my treat to myself as I have not gone off plan in 6 weeks.”

Carolyn: “My day is planned out already. A little treat, mostly on-plan. And I’m determined to lose this Holiday Season.”

Jeri: I’m not tracking but I am trying to be mindful. I’m having Mason’s pumpkin mug cake for breakfast. For the main dish, I’m concentrating on building my plate like I do at home.

Turkey – protein
Green bean casserole – veggie (sorta)
Mashed potato/stuffing – carb

And skipping things I don’t care about like the roll or grandma’s jello salad (sorry grandma!) I’m going to have a slice of apple pie bc it is my favorite and I only get it 3 times a year!”

Jessie: “I’m giving myself ONE day off. Still writing down what I eat, but not tracking. I naturally love protein and veggies so I don’t think it’ll be too bad. Just splurging on some dessert(s).”

Christy: “I will track my food, I’m smoking our turkey, making cauliflower alfredo in place of gravy for me, Trader Joe’s cauliflower stuffing and roasted winter squash. I’ll make protein pumpkin pie! I have a plan and am excited. I’ll also hit a good workout that morning and enjoy the friends and family that are there!”

Megan: “I’m going to two Thanksgiving dinners that day, plus a Friendsgiving the Saturday following. My plan is to go to a CrossFit workout in the morning, the first dinner is at 1 at the in-laws, planning on eating light. Sticking to eating the turkey and I will bring a vegetable or salad. 2nd thanksgiving will be at my parent’s house. I do not plan on skipping all the things I love (stuffing and gravy!) but I am going to try to only have 1 plate instead of going for seconds and mindlessly snacking on apps. It is also my sister’s bday on Thanksgiving, I’m actually not a big cake person so it’s not difficult for me to say no to that. But I will track regardless. Friendsgiving on Saturday will be a little difficult because it’s a potluck of random food, not typical Thanksgiving food so I don’t know what to expect I’ll eat. But I am planning to eat light that day and offer to be DD so I don’t drink. Might go over my numbers on Thanksgiving but I am not going to worry about it, I’ve been on this program 8 weeks and have already seen that one day does not derail you if you just get back on track and not let it spiral into a week of unhealthy eating”

Cate: “I will eat low fat/low carb for breakfast & lunch, saving as many macros for dinner. My dinner plate will be heavy on turkey and veggies and will have small bites of indulgences including dessert. Moderation is my plan!”

Mandy: “Enjoy the day..back on the next!”

Jacqueline: “I’m treating it as a meal prep Thursday and making my own side dishes that I can plan in and enjoy for the next three days with my leftover ham and turkey. Husband and kids can indulge in their regular high carb/fat sides and desserts that will only be in this house for that one day. My fear is indulging and it turning in to a downward spiral or being tempted by their leftover pie staring me in the face. I know myself enough now to know what my triggers are and to plan accordingly.”

Susan: “It’s one meal. One meal is not going to define my success or failure. So I plan to eat some of our family favorites in modest amounts, stick to plan the rest of the day and long weekend. I’m lucky in that we aren’t traveling and I’m not figuring out meals around restaurants or someone else’s cooking.”

Ann: “I’ve offered to cook for everyone so I can control the menu and the macros.”

Lori: “I am cooking. That means I am in charge. I am also in charge of my plate, and the fork-to-mouth motion.”

There you have it, folks! We at Stronger U couldn’t be more proud of the wisdom and understanding that all of you showed in talking about your Thanksgiving plans — especially all of the differences in how you’re planning on handling this week! Because, after all, there’s no right or wrong way to handle Thanksgiving, there’s only your way 🙂

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