With mere days to go until Thanksgiving, exercisers at Future Fitness are dreading the temptations of the family meal. Whether it’s a certain relative’s stuffing or sibling’s cheesy signature dishes, the fourth Thursday in November is bound to be jam-packed with deliciously dangerous calories.

The Thanksgiving feast may be enjoyable but in most cases it isn’t particularly conducive to achieving your fitness goals. There is, however, at least one staple of the meal that you can take away and integrate into your meal plan effectively year-round.

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So why give turkey a chance?


Most exercisers know the value of adding quality protein to their diet. For building muscle, a high-protein diet is a must, but that particular part of a diet may come with unwanted fats, carbs and calories. Beef and chicken are both heavily favored parts of a lifter’s diet (except for vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians), but each carry their cons.


Where beef can be high in fat, especially when it isn’t the highest quality, lower-cost options are a double-edged sword if lowering body-fat is a goal. Chicken can be leaner, with less fat than beef, but also reduces the amount of protein that can be gained per serving, leading to more calories per gram of protein.


Turkey can be a useful tool in a protein-packed meal plan. With less fat and slightly fewer calories than chicken or beef, turkey is a leaner option for a conscious diet. Turkey also holds less saturated fat than chicken and depending on the type of beef, less than that too. In most cases, turkey actually has as much protein as beef and more than chicken, making it the best choice of the three major animal proteins to build muscle and stay lean.


What’s the downside?


Turkey is higher than the other two options in both sodium and cholesterol, so it should be balanced against other protein options. This particular protein source also has a skin that is rich in fat, meaning that it needs to be eaten skinless in order to be considered the better option.


If you’d like some help figuring out how to start or spice up your meal plan, stop in to our gym in Cherry Hill or one of our locations across South Jersey. Our nutritionists can help you get set up with a diet that best meets your goals.