Post-Thanksgiving Recovery Guide

by | Nov 27, 2015 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

After Thanksgiving, it’s natural to feel like you’ve gained a few pounds. Even the most diligent dieters are likely to splurge during this food-centric holiday. But an extra slice of apple pie or one too many helpings of stuffing doesn’t mean your diet is totally wrecked. What you eat on Turkey Day is important — but how you handle the following days is even more significant. If you feel like you want to give up after Thanksgiving, recognize you didn’t blow your healthy lifestyle with one meal. Read below for post-Thanksgiving recovery tips.

Realize You Didn’t Blow It
While it might feel like you gained a couple of lbs (Thanksgiving fare is not known for being light), it takes an extra 3500 calories to gain a pound. What you’re feeling is most likely bloat. Acknowledge that your diet isn’t ruined and return to a healthy lifestyle mentality.

Drink Water
One of the best ways to beat bloat is to drink water. Water helps your body get rid of the excess salt it’s holding while keeping your appetite in check. Try to have one glass before each meal and continue to drink it normally throughout the day.

Don’t Starve Yourself
Severely restricting your calorie-intake one day to make up for overeating on another day is a common misstep many people make. Aside from the fact that starving yourself will throw your body out of whack and leave you feeling lethargic, it can also cause you to overcompensate later. The best way to recover from a big day of eating is to return to your normal habits. Eat meals filled with lean proteins and fiber-rich fruits and veggies.

Skip the Scale
Stepping on the scale and recording your weight weekly is an influential tool in the weight loss or maintenance phase. Seeing the number go down is encouraging and gratifying while seeing the number go up can help you adjust your path. But stepping on the scale the day after a big holiday meal will only serve to discourage you. The day after a big meal, your body is most likely still holding on to water weight that will lead to an inaccurate measure. Wait a week before getting back on the scale to skip unnecessary discouragement.

Reduce Carbs and Salt
Carbs and salt are both good for you in moderation … but after a Thanksgiving binge, they can add to bloat. Try to reduce your intake of both in the days after Thanksgiving to help reduce bloat quickly.

Go for a Walk or Hit the Gym
Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, boosting your mood and energy. After Thanksgiving, go for a 10 minute walk with a family member. Even in that small amount of time you can start to see the benefits of exercise. In the days after Thanksgiving, continue this trend — it will help to decrease bloat and increase your mood.