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Weekly challenge: create a Thanksgiving eating game plan

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Thanksgiving is one of the few days out of the year that we give ourselves permission to truly indulge, and after all, what harm can one large meal do? Actually, quite a bit. The average turkey meal with all the trimmings tops out at about 3,000 calories -- you need to eat 3,500 calories to gain a pound -- and many of us eat several Thanksgiving-size meals if we head to family for the weekend.

So what can you do? Plan ahead and exert a little willpower. Here are 5 ways to boost your willpower to resist some of those Thanksgiving temptations. I decided to sign up for a 10K “turkey trot” with my daughter for Thanksgiving morning, figuring the 600 or so calories I burn will allow me to have a glass of wine, scoop of stuffing, and piece of pecan pie. (Note: Even a six-mile run won’t get close to covering the entire meal.)

Download this mobile calorie tracker from Livestrong.com to help you keep track of calories in popular Thanksgiving foods and how many calories you burn through your fitness routine. Both can help you maintain your weight through the entire holiday season.

Deborah Kotz can be reached at dkotz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.
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