top of page

Top 5 Thanksgiving Health Tips

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Hey Dr. McNamara here at McLaughlin Care. And today what I'm going to talk about is five tips and tricks that you can use in order to reduce any type of weight gain, fat gain, or excess calorie intake during the Thanksgiving holiday. And you can use this and apply it to everyday life as well.

So the first thing we're going to talk about is to be neat. Now, of course, you're going to be neat. You're going to be dressed nice. You're going to be minding your best manners when you're around your family, but that's not the neat I'm talking about. I'm actually talking about Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (N.E.A.T). Now that's a pretty cool acronym Dr. McNamara, what does that mean?

What it means is, really it is referring to all of the movement and activity that burns calories, that doesn't include exercise. So for example, when I'm talking, if I'm using my arms, if I'm getting into the story that I'm talking about, even fidgeting, things like that, those are going to burn more calories than if I was just to be sitting still not moving at all.

And this study was updated in 2018. It talks about the role of non-exercise activity, thermogenesis, another way of saying neat. And they specify that individuals that weigh the same amount can burn up to 2000 calories difference based on the amount of neat that they have. So that non-exercise type of movements that are burning those calories. So let's get moving people, even if it's not exercise, you know, get animated into your stories, use your expression, enjoy yourself.

The next thing we're going to do is we're going to be insulin sensitive. Now that doesn't mean someone's going to come up and ask you about insulin and you're going to start crying because you're so sensitive about it.

No, this is actually how sensitive our cells in our body are to react to insulin when it attaches to the cell to bring in glucose within our cells so we can use it for energy. So the way we're going to increase our insulin sensitivity is we're going to do a hard workout, either 24 hours before or 24 hours after the Thanksgiving meal, this is going to deplete our glycogen stores and really prep our body in order to take in all the excess carbs that we're going to consume when those pies and the stuffing, all that other good stuff on Thanksgiving.

Another tip I want you to do is to just perform a little light exercise right beforehand because that's going to increase what's called our glute four receptor of our muscle cells. Now glute four is an insulin dependent receptor. So you need insulin to take it into the muscle cells and the exercise is going to increase the number of that, which is going to increase our insulin sensitivity.

Now what we're going to do to do that is we're going to perform compound movements so we can activate the most motor units, the most muscles as possible. So things like squats are great, excellent exercises for the lower body, and for the upper body things like a pushup are excellent. If you have access to pull-ups, those are great too, but we really want these compound movements okay. Up that glute four up that insulin sensitivity.

All right, the next thing we're going to do is moderate the liquid calories. Now with the liquid calories, I'm mostly talking about alcoholic beverages. Many of us will consume these on the holidays, but it's really really hard to moderate that because we don't feel full from drinking liquids. It's not like when you eat food, you get that satisfaction, that distension of the stomach that tells your brain you're full. So I really want you to pay attention to how many calories are in the drinks that you're drinking and pay attention to the number you're drinking so you're not consuming too many calories before the meal.

Next thing I want you to do is to chew your food. Chewing your food is going to, for one thing, it's going to take more time for you to eat, which is going to allow your stomach to feel that sensation of fullness. So you'll stop eating a little bit sooner, but it's also just going to help with the digestion by breaking down that food bolus a little bit more in your mouth before it reaches the stomach and it gets digested through the rest of the intestinal pathway.

So make sure you chew that food. Another thing is it's going to act on more of those taste receptors in your mouth. That's going to prep your GI tract a little bit more for those incoming calories and you're going to absorb more nutrients.

The last thing I want you to do, and this one's, my favorite is come up with some sort of family fitness activity. Now there's always football on Thanksgiving Thursday. Maybe your family likes to play football. Maybe you guys aren't into that. Maybe you're into other certain things like maybe you wanted to do a dance at the end of the day. What my family does is after the meal, we'd like to go on a nice long walk, take the dog out.

It gets us all exercise, gets us moving, it helps us digest the meal, and helps keep off those unwanted calories. So if you guys have any other tips that you've used in the past, or would like to share, go ahead and comment down below. Otherwise we'll see you when you come into the office and have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Thank you.

35 views0 comments


bottom of page