This year I’m thankful for…. My Thanksgiving dinner! The perfect time to remind your friends and family how much you love them. Thanksgiving brings people together to share in what we’re thankful for and enjoy a sumptuous feast just like the Pilgrims and the Indians did all those years ago…

But after the festivities, one thing I’m definitely not thankful for is how tight my pants feel for days or even weeks after this indulgent holiday!

The Calorie Control Council estimates the average American will consume between 3,000 to 4,500 calories every Thanksgiving, with heaps of mashed potatoes, second helpings of stuffing, and every pie under the sun all adding to this glutinous celebration.

Rather than missing out on the delicious treats this feast contains, we’ve looked at the average calories your favorite Thanksgiving dishes contain and picked some quick and easy ways to reduce the calorie count or burn off your indulgences

Whether you take the family on a walk or hike after dinner or spend the next few days furiously focusing on your yoga practice and exercise. These tricks will help you burn off the fat quicker. Even household chores can help you burn fat!

food choices

Turkey 

Serving Size: 6oz

Calories: 340

Healthy Choices: Choose light meat, remove the skin, and/or skip the extra sauces.

Exercises:

  • Dance for 1 hour
  • Run 6mph for 30 minutes (or power-walk at 3mph for 1 hour)
  • Iron clothes for 2 hours
  • Rake the yard for 1 hour or shovel snow for 40 minutes

Stuffing

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories: 180

Healthy Choices: Choose poultry (chicken or turkey) over meats (pork or beef) if you’re adding sausage to the stuffing, or simply make it vegetarian.

Exercises:

  • Take a 30 minute power-walk (3pmh)
  • Practice yoga for 1 hour
  • Jump rope for 15 minutes
  • 15 minutes of squats
  • Climb stars for 20 minutes

Gravy

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories: 150

Healthy Choices: Make your own with turkey drippings, separate the fat, and use less salt.

Exercises:

  • 1 hour of yoga
  • 25 minutes of walking (3pmh) or biking (10-12mph)
  • 10 minutes of squats
  • 20 minutes of soccer, or 15 minutes of football

Cranberry Sauce

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories: 90

Healthy Choices: Swap some of the sugars for cinnamon, cloves, and grated orange

Exercises:

  • ½ hour strength training
  • Power walking (4.5mph) for 15 minutes
  • 10 minutes of spin class

Green Bean Casserole

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories: 225

Healthy Choices: Forgo the rich and fatty casserole in favor of a healthier green dish with steamed string beans sauteed in butter and tossed with slivered almonds.

Exercises:

  • 1 -hour aerobics class
  • 1 hour of bowling
  • 40 minutes of power walking (4.5pmh), or 30 minutes biking (10-12mph)
  • Jump rope for 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes of tennis

Candied Sweet Potatoes or Mashed Potatoes

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories: 150

Healthy Choices:

Sweet Potatoes: Swap the ‘candied’ element for a plain sweet potato (103 calories) or roasted sweet potato (120 calories per cup)

Mashed Potatoes: Aim for low-fat milk or swap some milk and butter for low-sodium chicken broth

Exercises:

  • 45 minutes of strength training
  • Jog for 20 minutes
  • Dance for 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes of yard work

Eggnog

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories: 343

Healthy Choices: Try making Skinny Eggnog at home rather than going for store-bought. 

Exercises:

  • Take a brisk walk or dance for 1 hour
  • Participate in a 45-minute Zumba class (in-person or online)

Pumpkin Pie

Serving Size: 1/8th slice

Calories: 180

Healthy Choices: Pumpkin pie is less calorific than pecan or apple pies, so great choice! Avoid toppings like cream or ice-cream, and take a smaller slice to minimize calories.

Exercises:

  • 1 hour of yoga
  • 40 minutes of ping pong
  • 2 hours cleaning and tidying
  • 30 minutes of childhood games – for example, kickball or tag

Exercises

If you don’t want to weigh out each individual item on the Thanksgiving menu or simply want to burn through the entire dinner at once rather than dish-by-dish, you can also use this cheat-sheet to make the most of your exercise time. Add a resistance band – like these from Victorem to further intensify your training and get rid of the potato sweats even quicker!

Here are some of our favorite exercises and how many calories (on average) they can burn per hour based on a 150lb person:

  • Yoga: 179
  • Dancing: 344
  • Brisk Walking: 358
  • Stationary Cycling: 501
  • Light Strength Training: 215
  • Circuit Training: 501
  • Running: 573
  • Bowling: 215
  • Football: 648 (competitive) 576 (touch)
  • Cleaning and tidying: 300
  • Yard work: 300

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Photo Source