Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preparing The Human (for the turkey!)

Ahh the wonderful stench of the office after a lunch break run! Today I went out for a nice 2.1 mile jaunt with a co-worker. I haven't been eating to healthily to prepare for the giant Thanksgiving feast, though so every few miles helps.

Thankfully, there's a turkey trot up near my hometown that I can do tomorrow morning. It's too bad that it only covers the turkey's calories though! For today's post I wanted to cover some Thanksgiving basics. Mainly the food and the exercise it would take to burn it off. Let us commence.
Now, I got this from a totally different blog, so this picture is in no way mine. I found here:
However, I wanted to put it in my post to share with you all!

The reason a turkey trot is called such is because it pretty much only burns off the calories found in the turkey. Each mile a person runs or walks (notice it's regardless of speed) burns roughly 100 calories. Therefore, 8oz of white meat turkey is about 260 calories, or 2.6 miles of exercise to negate it. Dark meat is 3.5 miles. and a turkey trot is usually a 5K, or 3.1 miles, so there you have it! Give or take, the turkey trot burns off the turkey. However, this meal is on a smaller plate than Americans usually eat from. Our plates have gone from 8" in diameter to 10" in diameter in the last 20 years. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more Americans using 12" plates for this Thanksgiving!

This means that for a smaller 10" plate with proper portion sizes, one would have to run (or walk) 13.9 miles. That's further than a half marathon!! Keep in mind that that calculation is based only on the above plate, which doesn't include, eggnog, cider, wine, beer, cranberry juice, soda, milk, pumpkin/apple/pecan pie or any other type of pie one might eat. It also doesn't have the rolls and butter, or any butter one might add to say, mashed potatoes. PLUS, what you eat when you pick at things as you wait for the meal OR any after dinner mints or chocolates (like my family eats as a post-dessert).

So... Shall we revise our calorie count? We shall.
Now, this isn't my picture either, but I've seen it multiple places, so I'm not sure where to cite it. Either way, let's analyze it! This meal trades out the brussel sprouts for peas and adds in some beverages and desserts. It also has only one type of turkey. However, it is on a more standard looking plate, although the miles per food are slightly different. Now, this meal, if you can read the tiny writing, adds up to 26.2 miles! A full freakin' marathon! And still no dinner roll and butter (doesn't anyone else eat rolls and butter at Thanksgiving?)!
Moving on. The final point I want to make in this post is that portion control isn't rocket science! It can be daunting at first, but here is a handy little guide that can help you out. And it doesn't compare the sizes to random objects like dominoes or baseballs. You can do it all simply with your hands! Some might poke a hole in this theory saying, "but my hands are far smaller than Uncle Joe's!" To which I reply, Uncle Joe is probably a larger person in general than you anyway, and therefore his body will need a little bit more sustenance than yours does. So keep this guide handy... get it? Get that humor there? And enjoy your holidays!

So after all that, some of you may be feeling a bit discouraged because you really wanted to stuff your face tomorrow. This post is by no means written to make you feel guilty or bad in any way. I absolutely want you to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal! The purpose of this post is to encourage you to make sure that eating isn't the ONLY thing you do on Thanksgiving. Keep your portions under control, do a turkey trot or a solo run/walk/skip/crawl/moonwalk before the festivities, play football with the family after dinner (unless your yard will be covered in snow like I'm sure mine will be!). Have fun, but prepare your mind and body before kicking off the holiday season so you can better enjoy yourself and not feel the post-holiday guilt that so many suffer from once the big meal has passed.

What is your favorite food at Thanksgiving?
Any crazy traditions you don't mind sharing?

Safe and happy running!

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