Skinny Gurl’s Guide to Thanksgiving – How to Avoid Gobbling Until You Wobble

There are numerous statistics on how many calories the average American consumes on Thanksgiving Day, with most sources stating a range of 4,000-4,500 calories. Those numbers obviously vary based on a bunch of factors – such as what the meal consists of, who prepares it, the ingredients, preparation method, (deep-fried turkey anyone?) how much food is consumed, and whether or not they are counting just the Thanksgiving meal itself or all the food one consumes that day. Whatever the factors or statistics may be, I think we can all agree it’s used as a great excuse for humans to overindulge.

Karl Lagerfeld and models at Thanksgiving - Danny Roberts
Would you dare eat in front of The Karl?


Here at Skinny Gossip we are above average. However in this instance, I’d much rather prefer to be below average – especially when it comes to calories and consumption. Consuming anywhere near 4,000 calories during a meal – OR even in an entire day – is totally unacceptable – in fact, it’s just disgusting! (WTF! That’s more than a pound of weight in terms of calories!)

To help all you Skinny Gurls out there survive and navigate America’s biggest face-stuffing day, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to avoid the calories.. and the shame. I’ve broken them out into two scenarios: the first is a girl who wants to be/sit at the meal and partake without going crazy; the second is for the girl with too much anxiety about it and would rather avoid it completely.

If you must partake in a Thanksgiving meal that’s being prepared by someone else, and don’t want to be too out of place with your eating habits:

  • Fill your stomach up before the meal. Eat something low in calories, drink a liter or so of water – anything to make you not as hungry and eat less.
  • Eat small portion sizes. And spread them out on your plate to make it look like you have more than you really do. NO PILES! If it’s heaped up, it’s TOO MUCH.
  • Focus on the protein (turkey, etc) and pure/clean forms of vegetables (not soaked or dressed with butter and other sweets or garbage). Avoid carbs as much as possible! This means as little as possible of potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, and of course the sweets like pies.
  • Minimize your use of condiments. Gravy, dressings, etc. A little butter or oil might be OK – fats make you feel fuller and believe it or not in a desperate situation like this they are far better than the heavy carby stuff.
  • Skip the appetizers.
  • Do not, do not, do NOT eat dessert!  Obviously we don’t want to offend our host, so tell them you are completely stuffed (with turkey, vegetables, and water, right!?) and can’t possibly eat another bite of anything else – however, it looks delicious and you’d love to take something home for later (which you’ll of course throw in the garbage or happily give to someone else.) If you absolutely MUST and I mean MUST, go ahead and take a small cookie or teentsy-tiny slice of pie onto your plate. But even this is big trouble and has the potential to blow your skinny plans and stop your weight loss for up to a week. The sugar, carbs, and fat are the worst of anything at the table (along with those damn potatoes!)
  • Pretend not to like a certain dish, or say you recently discovered you had a new food allergy to avoid eating certain dishes that are laden with calories.
  • Eat and chew your food very slowly. Everyone else will be shoving food in their faces at record speeds and no one will be paying attention to you – they will think you ate way more than you really did.

If you want to avoid the meal all together:

  • Pretend you are sick (food poisoning, stomach flu, etc.) – this is a great excuse to avoid eating at all, or to stick to very low calorie foods such as chicken broth. It also gives you a great excuse to completely avoid annoying family members and just stay in bed all day.
  • If you have to drive somewhere for it, say you had car troubles (a flat, dead battery, engine problems) – then you can skip it entirely (if that’s even an option) or show up two hours later after everyone has finished. Of course, they’ll probably want to feed you leftovers when you finally do arrive –>; see next excuse 🙂
  • Share some big problem that’s giving you stress – broken down car, just broke up with your bf, personal issues, time of the month, work problems, etc. Have a little pity party (water works always help!) for yourself and tell them that you are so stressed that you have no appetite. Hopefully they’ll feel so bad for you that they won’t be on your case to eat. This excuse is also good if you choose to eat but you don’t want to each that much.
  • Pretend you just came from another Thanksgiving meal, and you are stuffed to the brim.
  • Be a conscientious objector! 😉 Tell them you do not wish to partake in a meal to celebrate a “holiday” where no one seems to recognize the reality behind Thanksgiving. Talk about how the Native Americans were brutalized by the colonists, and what a big, offensive lie the whole Thanksgiving myth is.

We all have different situations with varying circumstances. I’m sure most of you outside the states are relieved that you don’t even recognize or celebrate this holiday (lucky you!) Whatever the case may be, I hope you find my suggestions helpful and encouraging. I wouldn’t want any of you girls to end up like this.

Regardless of your beliefs surrounding Thanksgiving, I think it gives us all an opportunity to reflect on how lucky we are and the many reasons why we should be thankful.

What are your Thanksgiving survival skills? Do you have any special tips or tricks for this time of year? Tell us in the forums.

I’ll be traveling, but will try to chime in and tell you whether I was a good girl or not. 🙂

[Image is by Danny Roberts – check out his work!]