Five Ways to Survive the Thanksgiving Binge


There’s no getting around the fact that Thanksgiving dinner is far from meeting the Misfit Project Fuel guidelines, and we’re not about to tell anyone to skip it. Here are five concepts to ponder as you make your final plans for turkey day:

1. Maximize Insulin Sensitivity

Your body’s ability to transport glucose from your bloodstream into muscle cells, and not into fat cells, is greatly influenced by exercise and macronutrient timing. Scheduling a combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training the day before AND the morning of Thanksgiving will give you a much higher chance of depositing some of that pie into your muscles instead of your rear end. Keeping carb intake low before exercise on both days will also ensure your glucose receptors are turned on during exercise and ready for the upcoming re-feed.

2. Give Your Gut a Break

The combinations of food that end up on your plate throughout Thanksgiving day can wreak serious havoc on your gut bacteria. One of the most surefire ways to reduce gastrointestinal issues is to give your gut a chance to recover. Another problem a lot of us are all too familiar with is how easy it becomes to go way off track after a day like this. The sugar craving gut bacteria will quickly rewire your brain into thinking you need to keep feeding them to be happy. Once again our solution is to starve those gut bugs out of existence by not giving them what they want. The gold standard would be too fast for a full twenty-four hours after your final meal, which sounds impossible but can be very doable for someone used to fasting when you consider shutting it down early in the afternoon and not eating again until that time the next day. For those of you that are new to the fasting game, we recommend a 12-16 hour fast, which will still have a tremendous impact on your ability to get right back on track.

3. Insert Nutrient Density Into Your Meal

One of the things we can control on Thanksgiving is the ingredients we use while cooking the wild assortment of food. Specific micronutrients are vital for processing inflammation, organ function, immune system regulation, and the list goes on. Eating the way we do on Thanksgiving is a tremendous stress for our bodies to take on and one of the best ways to lend a hand is to cook with nutrient dense ingredients. There are plenty of places for grass-fed butter, bone broth, pasture raised eggs, organic produce, and naturally raised animals within the standard Thanksgiving dinner. 

4. Stay Hydrated

Our ability to perform many of the functions listed in concept number three are dependent on adequate hydration. Simply put we need to make sure we enter the day hydrated and continue that trend through to the next morning. Remember more is not always better when it comes to hydration. A sixteen-ounce glass of water with a pinch of pink salt to start the day, one before you eat, another a few hours before bed, and potentially a fourth around your exercise should do it.

5. Pick up the Slack Elsewhere

The system of tribes, rest, peace of mind, fuel, and movement is built to withstand a day like this every once in a while. Always control the other facets that you can when you can. That way when its time to get right back to a stable fuel protocol it’s just as easy as any other day. We can still spend meaningful time with loved ones, get a great nights sleep, execute our morning routine, and get some quality movement in regardless of what we choose to eat on one day.

Drew Crandall