Tara Romeo’s Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving

Tara Romeo’s Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving

By Peter Kaplan

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends.  If you’re like most of us, the delicious food is too tempting to pass up, disrupting your overall fitness and nutrition goals.  This year, don’t sweat it (because we know you couch potatoes literally won’t sweat it!), Tara Romeo, Assistant Director of the Professional Athletic Performance Center, is ready to share some of her secrets to staying on track this turkey season:

Our Thanksgiving tables will be overloaded with holiday favorites such as turkey, cranberry sauce,, stuffing and other goodies — and just when we think we cannot eat another bite, out comes dessert! While that is all well and good, Romeo preaches portion control to those who are trying to practice a healthy lifestyle. “A big mistake on Thanksgiving is filling your plate with too much food. Portion control is what it’s all about” Romeo said. “Make sure you have protein on your plate like turkey and your veggies. I am all about enjoying yourself on the holidays but don’t overload the mashed potatoes and stuffing.”

When asked what foods to try to avoid, Romeo named sweet potatoes among others. “Although sweet potatoes are delicious, most people make them with a lot of sugar, so if you want to indulge, take a small spoonful and leave room for green beans and salad,” said Romeo. “Avoid too much desert by sampling something small, and walk away.  Out of sight, out of mind.”

Nutrition may not be the most important thing on people’s minds during Thanksgiving, and your fitness routine may be thrown off. Long car rides or plane flights may also mean putting your exercise routine on hold, Romeo has a solution for that.  “If you are pressed for time, a secret to condensing a workout is making it more intense.  Simplifying your exercises by turning them into circuits will not only cut the workout time, but achieve similar results.”

A great way to kick-off Thanksgiving is by participating in a local Turkey Trot. Most of these five-kilometer runs donate the proceeds raised to local charities. Since 2003, this has become a tradition for Romeo and her family. The run makes her feel great about herself and it starts up her metabolism so she can enjoy her family’s famous Thanksgiving meal.



20 jumping jacks

20 body weight squats

10 push-ups

30 mountain climbers

One minute plank

50 Russian Twists

Repeat 5x

Tara Romeo is the Assistant Director of the Performance Center Photo - PAPC headshot - Tara Romeo