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Un-Eat It! Working Off That Traditional Turkey Dinner

Nov 09, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Becca Newell // Additional Research by Chelsea Hanson

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and food—the latter of which we look forward to perhaps a little more than we should. And while holidays aren’t the most appropriate time to consider healthy eating habits, it’s good to be mindful of what’s on your dinner plate. Here, we determine the calories for Turkey Day staples—and the subsequent exercises needed to lose ‘em—so you can enjoy the feast without fear of over-indulgence.

You can have your pumpkin and pecan pie—and eat it, too! Just be sure to get up and get moving on Black Friday. Who said shopping wasn’t good for your health?!

The American Council on Fitness suggests that the average Thanksgiving meal contains about 3,000 calories!

Turkey Breast with Skin

3.5 ounces (about the size and thickness of a new deck of cards)
194 calories
A 45-min. water aerobics class

Turkey Leg with Skin

One leg
213 calories
A 45-minute game of flag football

Mashed Potatoes

1/2 cup
116 calories
A half-hour brisk walk

Homemade Gravy

1/4 cup
262 calories
An hour of bowling


1/2 cup
160 calories
Ten minutes of jumping rope at moderate effort

Carrots or Brussels Sprouts

1/2 cup
27 calories
A 10-minute slow-paced walk

Sweet Potato Casserole

1/2 cup
440 calories
An hour-long hike

Cranberry Sauce

1/4 cup
110 calories
Twenty minutes playing table tennis

Dinner Roll and Butter

One serving
310 calories
A leisurely bike ride for an hour and a half

Green Bean Casserole

1 cup
142 calories
A half-hour power yoga session

Pumpkin Pie

One slice (with a dollop of whipped cream)
437 calories
Vigorous mountain biking for 30 minutes

Pecan Pie

One slice
503 calories 
An hour of intense climbing on an indoor rock-climbing wall

Work out ahead of time with a morning Turkey Trot fun run

A simple 5K, at a 10-minute-per-mile pace, burns about: 350 calories

Check out a list of nearby runs on our calendar here.