Turkey by the Ton

Five ways to burn off the holiday flab fast.

By: Dan Welden

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, share what you’re thankful for, and, yes, eat tons of food. Though that golden-brown, gravy-drenched bird tastes amazing, it may stick around your waistline longer than your memories of the special day. And if you’re fortunate enough to take a winter vacation, a turkey gut isn’t what you want boys to notice when you prance down the beach in your smallest Speedo. So how can you look good without skipping seconds? Here are five ways to quickly shed those post-supper pounds!

1. Do high-intensity interval training: Go in with a plan and don’t waste time running endlessly on the treadmill. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating between high and low intensities. On the treadmill, for example, you would alternate between jogging for 30 to 60 seconds and sprinting for 30 to 60 seconds, repeating this process five to 10 times. Another way to incorporate HIIT into your workout is super-setting exercises such as high knees, burpees, and mountain climbers with your typical weightlifting routine. After completing a set of barbell curls, you could do high knees for 30 to 60 seconds. This will help keep your heart rate elevated throughout the workout.  

2. Join a bootcamp: Bootcamps are extremely popular across the city, and are designed to burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time. These full-body workouts are typically more intense than standard fitness classes, but if you can sweat through it without passing out mid-renegade row, this is a great way to drop the weight you gained from that third plate of mashed potatoes. 

3. Take fitness classes: If bootcamps aren’t your thing, there are many fitness classes out there to get you moving while teaching you a new skill. If jiu-jitsu or trapeze classes are a bit too extreme for your tastes, consider TRX or kettlebell classes.

4. Cut back on sodium: Many of us take in way more sodium than necessary. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American consumes about 3,400mg of sodium a day, which is approximately 1,100mg more than the recommended daily intake for anyone under the age of 51, and more than double the recommended daily intake for those over 51. Sodium can cause bloating and excess water retention, which, among many other adverse health-related issues, can make you appear much larger. 

5. Cut back on carbs: We all love bread, pasta, and pizza, but if you’re looking to burn the blubber you acquired from sucking stuffing out of that turkey’s backside, you’ll need to cut way back on carbs. Sweet dreams of that delicious Thanksgiving dinner should hold you over—at least until Christmas.