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Exercise Equivalents for Thanksgiving Dinner

ThanksgivingworkoutfitnessNewsletter • 3 min read • Nov 18, 2015 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith


It’s no secret that Thanksgiving brings about serious overindulgences with meals reaching the thousands in terms of calorie count. With such a hefty meal on your plate, you might be thinking about ways to work off the excess calories. On the high end of estimates, Thanksgiving dinner can total about 4,500 calories, which will equate to 7.7 hours of running, 10.3 hours of hiking, or 15 hours of cycling. Get a course-by-course breakdown below, which may be more practical to manage, as you enjoy your favorite dishes this Thanksgiving.

For the mashed potatoes


Before you pile a mountain of mashed potatoes on your plate, remember that half a cup of mashed potatoes contains about 120 calories, which is equivalent to half an hour of walking or lifting weights. Add a quarter cup of gravy for your potatoes and turkey, and you’ll have another 45 calories to burn off. That might mean 5 minutes of stair climbing, burpees, or kettlebell swings.

For the pie


When choosing a slice of pie to round out your meal, opt for pumpkin, since it is generally lower in calories than apple. Even still, one slice will total approximately 300 calories, which will take a 60-minute yoga session to burn off.

For the stuffing


Stuffing is a staple of Thanksgiving dinner, but it is not light on calories. Half a cup of stuffing has about 180 calories, which translates to 35 minutes of dancing or 20 minutes of moderately paced crunches.

For the turkey


Turkey is actually one of the more wholesome choices on the Thanksgiving menu, since it is a lean meat that is high in protein. Still, six ounces (which looks like the size of two decks of cards) will total nearly 200 calories, and will take about 15 minutes of CrossFit or 50 minutes of ice skating to burn off.

Reach the World. Giving Made Easy with Impact.

Kat Smith