Have a Guilt Free Thanksgiving Feast

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

It’s a classic Thanksgiving dilemma.

Sitting at the ambushed disheveled Thanksgiving dinner table with the empty, dirty, defeated, war ridden plates with streaks of gravy and bits of corn and roll crumbs left behind.

That heaviness you so desired is now in your belly as you sluggishly sit there. You know you shouldn’t…but you scoop up that last bit of mashed potatoes on your fork and put in your mouth. You know this will send you over the edge…you still swallow it.

A few minutes later, you instantly regret that decision.

You are full to the max, unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.

And you still have Aunt Gina’s pumpkin pie on the way. You’ve been looking forward to it…all year long.

“It’s Thanksgiving” you tell yourself.

“Treat yourself” you say.

But in the back of your head you remember the average weight gain during the holiday season is 5 pounds.

The shame and regret enter.

But what if you could take those last bites of mashed potatoes, eat the pumpkin pie…and also not feel the guilt?

“Could it be true?” I hear you asking me.

It totally can.


One of the best ways to not feel guilty about over eating all those extra calories at Thanksgiving dinner, is to get outside and HIKE!!!

Hiking Burns TONS of Calories

On average, hiking burns about 400 calories an hour. So, get yourself going on a 4 to 5 mile hike, and you’ll average out to about 800 calories, which is basically the equivalent of 2 slices of pumpkin pie and those last few bites of mashed potatoes.

Hit the Trails the Day Before or Morning of Thanksgiving

My advice…hit up the hiking trails the day before Thanksgiving or early in the morning day of.

Because if you put it off for Friday, let’s be honest…you might not feel that motivated to actually do it.

Instead, let the meal itself be your motivating factor, for burning off the calories beforehand. Plus, while at the dinner, you’ll feel like you deserve that second slice of pie instead of feeling bad!


Hiking is also a great activities to take your family on – or a great excuse if you’re trying to get away from some family members!

Either way, you really can’t go wrong with hiking this Thanksgiving! So let’s make it happen!

A few 4-5 miles in the Phoenix area are:

Telegraph to Kiwanis and back again.
Piewstewa Peak (okay, it’s only 2 miles roundtrip – but it’s a workout!)
Gateway Loop

Gateway Loop in McDowell Mountains

Hiking with kids or elderly family members? Check out these easy and shorter trails at Papago Park.

Papago Park

Tag Us

Have fun and tag us @hikephoenix on Instagram to be featured! We want to see you and your family hitting the trails!

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