Poll: Do You Count Calories on Thanksgiving?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Happy Thanksgiving. Here's a quick poll for your Turkey Day curiosity:

Do you track your calories on Thanksgiving?

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No I don't track, I don't have to with The No S Diet! It's not really a diet, it's a permanent, commonsense, lifestyle change you can do every day for the rest of your life - including on special days and holidays. It's great grandma's way of eating. Thanks to No S I am forever FREEEEEEEEE from tracking, weighing, measuring, the time and frustration spent on all of that, the obsession of all of that. From 9/27 to 1/1 I lost 11.4lbs via the No S Diet, without dieting or tracking anything. See the SparkTeam icon on my SparkPage if you're interested in The No S Diet. Report
I track and I try to make reasonable choices but if I go a little over my calorie goals, I'm not going to stress about it.

This year we had 2 Thanksgiving dinners--one with each set of parents. For the one on Thanksgiving day, I went about 300 calories over my calorie goals--not great but it's not the end of the world. The one on Saturday I stayed within my calorie goals. Both days I ate when I was hungry, tried to watch my proportions but didn't deprive myself of seasonal favorites. Report
I know I did not go over my calorie limit even though I did not track. I bypassed both mashed potatoes and dessert, but had a second on cranberry relish.
Had only two meals that day and actually awakened in the middle of night and was hungry. Report
I don't track calories in the traditional sense, rather I track my Weight Watcher Points. That is the program's method for tracking, and it's working very well for me. On Thanksgiving I decide ahead what I will eat and use the extra points to stay in range. Report
I could not get to a computer. So even though I walked 14000 plus steps.
I ate way to much. I will get back on the horse tomorrow am. Report
I don't keep track on a holiday, but Thanksgiving is not a "trigger" holiday for me, since it doesn't have a big chocolate appeal. I am on maintenance currently, so will just continue with that until Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and Day. I write my planned "days off" on a little calendar booklet I keep, have been doing this for several years, dietitian's idea, and it works for me. Give it a try, it may help someone out there, but not everyone, of course. Report
I haven't been tracking my calories anyway lately (although I've still removed some lbs), and I wasn't about to do it on a holiday. I just made sure to take small portions and eat SLOWLY. I did not leave stuffed, and I did not have a "food hangover" the next morning. Nice feeling. Report
I did not track my calories due to being away from home and others doing the cooking. However, I did use the tricks I have learned from Spark People and walked away satisfied, vs stuffed. I just asked myself, "what do I really like and want vs what don't I like and don't want?" I ate a little bit of the things I liked and left off what I didn't. I also ate things I knew were lower in calories (raw veggies instead of the green bean casserole) so that I would not feel hungry a short time later. I'll find out tomorrow (when I weigh in with friends) how I actually did this week. Exercise like a walk would of helped me even more, but living in MN meant brutally cold weather (wind & cold & ice) and I was not prepared to deal with it and not being able to exercise due to limited space and resources at the home where I was a guest...I'm okay with whatever my results will be, because I did what I could with my options that were available. I just made sure that I started back on my normal routine when I got home today. Report
I planned a low fat meal for the family, even a low fat dessert. And we both stayed on track. I did eat the low fat recipe of the pie, but my tummy didn't like it.
We did have wine too, but counted the calories. And it was fine. Very nice not to be overcome with lethargy, very nice not to have to take antacids, very nice to wake up hungry in the morning. Report
No i don't keep track of Calories on a holiday, I don't eat much but i eat enough
and i work it the net week. Report
I know this will probably sound crazy, but I won't eat on Thanksgiving until dinner because I know I'm going to eat what I want at dinner INCLUDING dessert! I ate very well yesterday, but I really don't think I went over my calories... not that I was counting lol.

And even though I know this is NOT the healthiest way to approach a holiday or event, I want to be clear that this is not something I do every day. And I don't stop exercising because it's a holiday either. We've actually starting walking in groups as a family after dinner. I say groups because some of us walk a slower pace, some of us more briskly. Report
I agree with the person who wrote that one of the options should be "I TRY to stay in range." I tried and didn't do too badly. I exercised in the morning and I broke even by the end of the day, my calorie differential was +12. I was satisfied with how I did. And now today, it's back to business!! Report
I didn't prepare the meal this year, but I took a few dishes that I knew were good as is, not loaded with extra calories. So I loaded up on those dishes. I had a little bit of other dishes as well. And I had a 2-3 bites of three desserts. I decided what I was willing to spend the calories on. I knew I wouldn't stay in range and I wasn't worried about that since I ran yesterday morning and I have a race saturday. I weigh myself every day, there's where my accountability is! :D Report
I knew I was eating more than usual but I did track it and after all the guests had gone home I got busy and exercised to burn up some of it. It wasn't a huge amount more than usual but it will take me a few days to get the scale to cooperate. Report
I don't keep track, holidays are off limit!!! :P Report
I treated it like a "free" day and ate what I wanted, but I went ahead and tracked anyway. I am glad I did--about 2500 calories for the day; 1800 or so just for the main meal! I don't feel guilty but it was a huge eye-opener!

I don't track calories on Turkey Day. But I also don't forget to avoid overeating like I would in my pre-SparkPeople days. Report
BLEW IT!! LOL Report
This Thanksgiving, we were guests at someone else's house. Since I didn't partake in the meal prep, I have no way of knowing all that went into the food. So, rather than ask them what was in each dish, I chose instead to not track anything. I did however have small portions (it helped that my tummy was upset). Visually it looked like no serving was bigger than a half cup. I also avoided obvious pitfalls like gravy. I think I did pretty well overall. Report
I track because it keeps me aware of what& how much I am eating, even tho I have given myself permission to enjoy the day, the company, and its seasonal foods. As chief cook, I cook healthier versions of favorite foods & am less likely to reach for seconds. I'm a couple hundred calories over so far today, as opposed to I'm sure a couple thousand in yester years. Will have to swim & walk hard to work that off, but at least it is in the realm of possibility. Report
To be honest, I'm not real good about tracking calories anyway, but Thanksgiving comes only once a year. I try to make decent choices, but I don't deprive myself of something I want either. Report
Tracking really works for me and I get to have a little of everything :-) Report
It's a free for all day for me. Report
I didn't track calories exactly but I did try to stay in portion control. Report
I don't check my food lately but I never eat over my range. I did 25 min. Power yoga and 50 min. Burn yoga.Happy Thanksgiving! Report
ok.... i tried like a banchee to stay within range today... so far i can have like 30 more calories to be in range for the day... looks like its just water for me the rest of the day.... which, i probably fine..... i am still full anyway!! lol.... but i certainly could have done without the apple pie sliver and frozen yogurt... but it was yummy! kat Report
this my first thanksgiving on spark people. i am meeting my goals today though. Report
I'm not going to track (how could I possibly track all the dishes my family brings for our thanksgiving potluck?) but I'm still going to try to choose healthful choices and not over-eat. Report
I would have liked a radio button that said "Yes, and I try to stay in range" ... I don't walk around with a food scale and a measuring spoon. Haven't since old Weight Watchers days in the year of the flood. Certain venues I find I have to even bring my own (eyballed) (food) portions of certain foods - (normal people food - I've never been on Jenny Craig or NutriSystem). That's just how it is ... and I am (forever) about 4 pounds over goal weight ...
think a diet back in 2003 screwed up my metabolism for good ...

Tina Report
Portion size... I am going to try to have all my food fit on the plate without piling it, just nice little portions next to each other!
Just did 30 min on the treadmill ... working up an appetitie ;( Report
I ran 7 miles this morning. I eat healthy until dinner. Then all bets are off. Report
I eyeball more than I actually weigh or measure, but yeah I try to keep a tabs on it. Even if it's just to find out how many day's worth of calories I'm eating! ;) Report
I've got our "big" meal already in the tracker and I've got a plan! Just finished my first cardio/strength workout with another planned for later. Report
I do count calories everyday holidays included , there is so much more to this day than food. Report
There definitely needs to be a "Yes, and I TRY to stay in range" option. I'm pretty sure I stayed in range, or came very close, this year (I'm Canadian), but Thanksgiving is one of a handful of days in the year when staying in range takes a close second to just enjoying myself. Report
One thing I love is that since I'm preparing the meal, I can control what kinds of foods are available. For the first time I planned out my entire Thanksgiving Day menu ahead of time. 1400 calories total for the day, this includes breakfast, lunch, turkey, gravy, plenty of mashed potatoes, and ice cream for dessert. Report
I'm with STUTLERTONI I wish there would have been an option of "Yes, and I TRY to stay in range". I think that this year I will probably be more concious of what I eat than I have been in years past. Report
I won't count calories or weigh today. I'll probably be more in the moment than I have ever been though (with portion control) but will definitely eat some of the goodies as well. I do plan to take a walk before eating. Happy Thanksgiving to all the sparkies!

Susan Report
I never track calories on holidays, or any other day. I just fill my plate with half vegetables. Report
I really would have liked a box that says "Yes, and I TRY to stay in range." It's going to be hard today but I'm going to try my hardest and track every bite. It's all about calories in vs calories out over a period of time, right? Even if you don't count the calories they're still there. I like to know where I stand and I hope to get in enough physical activity this morning to counter any slip-ups I have this afternoon. Good luck everyone and Happy Thanksgiving. Report
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