But don’t think jogging is the only way to go. While it’s true that raising your heart rate for prolonged periods increases calorie burn—which in turn promotes weight loss—there’s no set rule for how it has to be done.
Whether you’re running on a treadmill or performing a circuit of much more challenging (and fun) weight-training exercises, your heart won’t know the difference, and your body will burn fat just the same.
To make sure you’ll be able to have your turkey and eat it, too, we’ve crafted three strength-based “dreadmill”-free conditioning workouts to help you get back in shape post-splurge.
Directions for workout 1 (push-pull circuit)
Perform exercises 1A–1D in sequence. Rest, then repeat; do as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes. Then go on to the squat.
Performing push-and-pull movements works the entire upper body and pumps it full of blood. Finishing with the squat works the lower body, redirecting blood below the equator and making your heart work harder to get it there.
Directions for workout 2 (squat, chinup, and press challenge)
After warming up, load the equivalent of your bodyweight onto the bar. Perform squats for two minutes straight, resting at the top of each rep as needed until time is up. (Have a spotter handy.) Aim for 20 reps.
Go on to chinups and complete five sets of as many reps as possible.
Finally, perform three sets of the overhead press using 50% of your bodyweight. Do as many reps as possible, resting two minutes between sets.
The squat challenge exhausts your lower body, but also tests your cardiovascular endurance. Following it with pullups decompresses the spine, which then allows you to perform the overhead press more safely.
Directions for workout 3 (kettlebell complex)
Perform exercises 1A–1C in sequence, then repeat on the other arm. Rest three minutes, then repeat for five total rounds. Go on to the Turkish getup, performing reps for five straight minutes. Working one side at a time makes for longer sets and more calorie burning—it also challenges your core.