3 Steps to a Fitter Thanksgiving

3 Steps to a Fitter Thanksgiving

Finally, the best time of the year is upon us. My inner fat kid practically cries with happiness at a day that couldn’t be any more perfectly tailored for me. The entire country not only condones but also makes it a priority to over eat all of the best comfort foods. Just thinking about it breeds satisfaction. That being said, Thanksgiving has the ability to be so much more than a lazy day of eating. If you set your day and your physiology up correctly, your body will utilize all of that food for the most good. And let's be real, we're both going back for that second helping of pie so let's just make it work for us, shall we?

First thing to do is take advantage of the sleep the night before. This naturally puts your body in a fasted state where it will utilize fat for energy. The first thing you put in your mouth that day will either help or hinder that. If you eat or drink anything with a glycemic index (aka sugar) your body will instantly start burning that for fuel and ditch the fat. To take advantage of that fasted state you can drink coffee with out any sweetener; cream is fine but no milk and no sweetened creamers. (Creatine coffee with heavy cream or bulletproof coffee is my go to. Both of these keep the desired effect of your body which is burning fat but also help you feel full so you aren’t thinking about food the entire workout.)

Next, you want to get the furnace burning. (Heads up, this is the hard part.) You are going to take advantage of this with fasted cardio. You want to stay in the fat burning zone during this cardio to keep your body from catabolizing muscle. The best way to do this is to think about working hard enough to sweat but so that you can also carry on a conversation. If you do work a little harder, no foul. We are going to make up for that with supplements. At the end of this post I have included a full workout you can do at home. If you decide to do your own, just remember to try and stay in the fat burning zone and look for as much all around muscle fatigue in your workout as possible. i.e. burpees > running if you can stand it. Additionally, starting and stopping will help speed up the calorie burning process long after you have stopped as apposed to steady state cardio. i.e. intervals > long run. (If you are going to do a morning turkey trot, following this will still help you burn as much fat as possible.)

Because your body is in burn mode, it is important that we protect the muscle you have. This is where Branch Chain Amino Acids come in handy. Drinking them during your workout has been shown to spare muscle while your body is looking for energy.   Drinking them before and after is completely fine for recovery but drinking them during is optimal for this specific purpose. IMPORTANT: When you pick a BCAA drink, ensure that it doesn’t have any sugar or carbs in it. Other wise you are negating the purpose of the fasted state. Your body will burn up the sugar and leave your fat for you to deal with later! (This is why we have no glycemic index in LionHeart ReFuel)

If you are going to use the aid of any other supplements such as a fat burner, just ensure that they don’t have sugar or carbs as well. Also, remember you have an empty stomach so be aware of any adverse reactions that taking pills on an empty stomach might cause.

Lastly we have the time in between your workout and your meal. This is where you need to be strong! Don’t eat. You can drink water, you can drink coffee and you can drink your BCAA’s. The more BCAA’s you have the better honestly so don’t worry about over consuming. The only thing to be on the look out for is if they are sweetened with something such as Stevia or Splenda, it will make your body hungry due to tricking it into thinking it is getting sugar. When it realizes that it didn’t get any, the hunger pains are coming. Wait it out, you’re getting ready to crush a whole lot of great food. Interval work will keep your body burning calories long after you have stopped working out. This works great if you are going to be eating in the early afternoon. If you aren’t going to eat until later, you will have to substitute with fat during the day when you get really hungry. Foods that work great for this are avocado, butter, bacon etc.… Just eat as little as possible in order to feel sated.

Right before you eat it’s time to prime the motor. This will be done with sugar. Before your meal, drink something like juice (apple or grape juice works great.) The instant glycemic index will play a key role in opening the cells of your muscle to receive the protein that they badly need. Your body has now been burning fat all day long and it is ready to put all of these extra calories to work by way of muscle recovery and growth, energy production and good ol’ fashion gains.

The steps that I have outlined here are taking advantage of a concept known as metabolic flexibility. Essentially this is where you are able to get your body switching back and fourth between burning fat and carbohydrates for energy production. It can be complex and I will write about it further in the culture report later but following these easy steps will put you on the right track and ensure that your thanksgiving meal keeps working for you long after the most glorious day in the history of the universe has passed.

To recap here is a quick step by step of your day you can screen shot and take advantage of:

  • 8am: Wake up, drink bullet proof coffee or coffee with heavy cream.
  • 830am: Mix up BCAA drink to drink during workout.
  • 9am: Thanksgiving workout; outlined below or 45 minutes of fasted interval work.
  • 10am: Drink water and help family prep food.
  • 11am-2pm- Eat an avocado if needed.
  • 2pm – Drink 1 glass of apple or grape juice. Crush all the food you want. Wear sweatpants, this is going to get real fast.
  • 3pm: Pie, pie, pie, 3.14.
  • 4pm: Watch football and slip into a coma of satisfaction.

LuaVíve’s T-Day at home workout

Warm up for 10-15 minutes (jogging, bike, elliptical, whatever you have…)

Set a running clock for 40 minutes.

Perform work every minute on the minute rotating between stations, so each group is hit 10 times.

  • Station 1: 15 air squats
  • Station 2: 8 burpees
  • Station 3: 13 V-Ups. (Legs elevated and arms stretched out straight past the head. Curl up so that feet and hands touch and then return to the ground with feet and arms elevated at the bottom.)
  • Station 4: 25 mountain climbers (each legs)

Your rest is the time after completing the rep scheme while waiting for the next minute to start. Use this time to drink BCAA’s and recover for the next set.