Don't Eat That Yet! A Thanksgiving Calories Reality Check

We're officially into the most decadent time of the year. You're thinking about that pumpkin spice cappuccino you had with breakfast or the gingerbread cupcakes you're baking later this week, right? Sure, all those festive nibbles add up, but it's no surprise we do the biggest number on ourselves (literally) on the holidays themselves. In fact, we can eat up to 900 calories more on the actual holi-day.

To test this finding, we totalled up the amount of calories and fat in an average Thanksgiving day meal. For a sobering (albeit mouthwatering) reality check, read on ...











Cranberries -- Whether they come in the shape of a tin can or not, Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without this tart, sweet (oh yes, very sweet) side dish. But an average 1/3 cup serving of the canned kind clocks in at 225 calories and, luckily, less than 1 gram of fat.











Sweet Potatoes -- Some people serve 'em straight up baked, but when you're going all out, nothing beats ooey gooey orange goodness topped with toasted marshmallows. Mmm ... for an average 1/2 cup portion, prepare to make room for about 315 calories and 7 grams of fat.












Mashed Potatoes -- When it comes to this simple, traditional comfort food, you might not be that comfy with the stats. A 1-cup serving adds up to 240 calories and 12 grams of fat.












Stuffing -- This bready side dish offers temptation that any true carboholic will rarely be able to resist. An average 1/2 cup serving: 265 calories and 11 grams of fat.











The Turkey -- The headliner/main event/entree/star of the show .... Call it what you will, but the average 6-ounce serving of the festive bird will run you -- depending if you pick leaner white or fattier dark meat (both with skin) -- about 260-320 calories and 11-16 grams of fat.










Pumpkin Pie -- The encore, if you will. It seems to me you either hate it or you love it. But either way, it is the classic Thanksgiving Day dessert -- homemade whipped cream optional. For 1/8th pie: 340 calories and 15 grams of fat.


Indulge in all of this for a grand total of ... 1,705 calories and 61 grams of fat. This is before any hors d'oeuvres, rolls, croissants, pats of butter, buttery veggies, oily dressings, wine, cookies, and of course, second helpings. Looks like the diet researchers may have underestimated the power of the Thanksgiving pants!  

The good news is that it's just one day and just one meal -- one that I think we should all thoroughly enjoy. Still, knowledge is power. So, it doesn't hurt to know the numbers before you nosh, right? 



Images via Dave Goehring/scaredy_kat/David Boyle/rick/Glenn Gutierrez/Pink Sherbet Photography/Maggie Hoffman

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