Burning Off High Calorie Foods: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving dinner should be savored; just keep in mind what it would take to burn off high-calorie foods before piling them too high on your plate.

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It probably comes as no surprise that a Thanksgiving meal can pack in tons of extra calories. What’s really eye-opening is how much exercise you need to burn those calories. Don’t get us wrong, Thanksgiving dinner is a meal to be savored; just keep some of these numbers in mind before you pile those goodies too high in your plate.

Crunching the Numbers

The values below are averages based on a 155-pound person. We left turkey off of the list below on purpose. At about 150 calories for a 4-ounce (skinless) serving, it’s hands-down a healthy choice.

Starters

•    6 stuffed mushrooms (made with cheese and meat) = 350 calories = 1 hour of belly dancing

•    1 serving spinach-artichoke dip  = 320 calories = 35 minutes of sit ups

Sides

•    ¼ cup gravy = 50 calories = 15 minutes of vigorous house cleaning

•    1 cup stuffing = 350 calories =2 hours of yoga

•    1 cup green bean casserole = 400 calories = 45 minutes of push ups

•    1 cup sweet potato casserole = 500 calories = 45 minutes of jogging (10 minute mile pace)

Desserts
•    1 slice pumpkin pie = 400 calories = 45 minutes of basketball

•    1 serving apple pie a la mode = 575 calories = 1 hour 10 minutes of spinning

•    1 slice pecan pie = 500 calories = 1 hour of high impact aerobics

Damage Control

We don’t want to scare you away from the dinner table. Use these tips to enjoy your turkey day meal without getting stuffed.

•     Truly pay attention to portions.

•    Keep calories from alcohol to a minimum.

•    Share dessert with a relative.

•    Get an extra workout in before you start your post-turkey day holiday shopping.

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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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