Thanksgiving can be one huge blur of red wine, unresolved tension from last year’s political debate, and too many slices of your mom’s pumpkin pie. I mean, we don’t blame you for eating your feelings. Between all the preparing, forced family time, awkward personal questions, and sampling every dish before it hits the table, the holiday can be pretty exhausting. Nothing’s stopping you from eating your Thanksgiving meal like you’re preparing for a nuclear apocalypse (not a bad idea considering the way things are going for our country rn), and we get it. However, if you want to burn a few extra calories to get your body ready for all your fav dishes, we’ve found a few ways that don’t consist of skinny teas or any other Instagram diet hacks. Here are some scientifically proven ways to burn calories so you can go ham at Thanksgiving dinner:
1. Drink Lemon Water In The Morning
Remember when we used to take gummy bear vitamins just because we were told they were good for us? That’s kind of like what lemon water is today. Basically every nutritionist and health guru in LA swears by a glass of hot water with lemon in the morning, so we believe that it does something for us. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning has been proven to kickstart your digestive system and speed up your metabolism, so it will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Drink a huge cup of lemon water on the morning of Thanksgiving and you’ll feel better all day even when stuffing your face with pumpkin pie. Like, an extra slice is fine because I drank lemon water, right??
2. Get Off The Couch And Help Out
Being home for Thanksgiving is basically an excuse to lay around all day and try to drink enough wine to deal with your annoying second cousins, but if you actually do something to help out, you’ll end up burning calories just by being *somewhat* helpful. Help carry the groceries inside, cut the vegetables, or take the dog on a walk. I know laziness is inevitable when you’re home and don’t have any responsibilities, but any sort of moving around helps keep you active. I’m not saying carrying a case of water bottles inside the house from the driveway is gonna make you lose three pounds, but keeping your body active will prevent your metabolism from slowing down throughout the day, and we can honestly use any help we can get at this point.
3. Get In A Quick HIIT Workout
There’s no better excuse to escape family time than your physical health. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even work out the other 364 days of the year. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to lie to your loved ones about your personal priorities and insist on spending a few minutes by yourself to get in a quick workout. I mean, this is assuming your high school dealer is out of town and your friends are busy with their own families. Either way, HIIT isn’t such a bad last resort, and it’s the most logical way to burn calories when you’re planning on indulging later on. Even a 15-minute interval-based workout can help you burn calories for up to 24 hours afterwards, so put on a sports bra and do the damn thing. We even made a workout routine for you, so what’s your excuse?
4. Drink Cold Water
Thanksgiving can be a great time to catch up on your hydration, considering you don’t remember the last time you actually drank a full water bottle unless you were severely hungover or coming out of some bootcamp class that still gives you PTSD. We already know that staying hydrated keeps you full and clears your skin, but apparently drinking cold water helps your body burn more calories when at rest. When you drink cold water, your body has to work to bring the water up to its own internal temperature, which burns calories without you even realizing. If I were you, I’d start chugging.
5. Add Cinnamon
Luckily for you, cinnamon is kind of a seasonal staple, so it’s probably in a good number of your Thanksgiving desserts already. Cinnamon has been proven to help you burn calories and lose weight because of its regulatory effect on blood sugar levels. Here’s how it works. When your body’s insulin levels increase, it increases the metabolism of glucose, and the cinnamon helps prevent fat from being stored from the high blood sugar. In other words, a scoop of cinnamon can stabilize your blood sugar and prevent your body from holding onto extra fat. Sprinkle some in your coffee or anything else that makes sense to put cinnamon in. It’s Thanksgiving… it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
6. Eat The Brussels Sprouts Side Dish
There’s a ton of amazing food at Thanksgiving, but brussels sprouts are KEY if you want to burn calories while eating. It sounds impossible considering all foods have calories, but eating cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts will actually make your body burn calories because it needs to work extra hard to digest the fiber. This applies to veggies like kale and broccoli, too. There’s basically this scientific phenomenon where some foods have a thermal effect, which means your body uses extra energy to digest them. Brussels sprouts are packed with fiber, so your body will literally burn calories while digesting it. Everyone wins.