A sobering look at how many calories there are in a typical Thanksgiving meal


Thanksgiving dinner

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For a few weeks now, shelves at grocery stores and chain pharmacies have been well stocked with Halloween candy. You already know that the simplest way to not fall off your health-and-wellness bandwagon is to not indulge in bagfuls of it. Hey, even if you tell yourself that it's for trick-or-treaters, once the bag is open it's a Pandora's Box filled with delicious, sugary temptation.

Thanksgiving is a little more difficult to navigate. Sure, you probably should resist consuming too much creamed spinach, sugar-laden cranberry sauce and an assortment of pies. But the smorgasbord of better-for-you food can be so vast, it's easy to pile too much of it on your plate and succumb to seconds.

SmoothFitness.com found that, in a typical Thanksgiving meal, Americans can consume more than 1,600 calories — and those numbers are based on exact serving sizes, which most people won't follow. That's right, in a single sitting we can put away as many calories as we consume in the entire day. This infographic by Visual.ly breaks down the Thanksgiving meal into calories. It goes a step further, however, and shows you how much time you need to spend on either a treadmill or elliptical trainer to burn off everything from that serving of stuffing to that slice of decadent pumpkin pie.


Sure it's just one day, but that's still a lot of food to pack away in one go. Consider, instead, exercising moderation. What better motivation than remembering that the best part of Thanksgiving are the leftovers? Eat sensibly and leave some for the day after and the day after that. Even if you hop on a treadmill or elliptical to burn off all those calories, don't forget that you can't outrun a bad diet.