4,500 calories: That’s how much we eat on Thanksgiving Day

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It's that time of year when we gather around the table with our loved ones and give thanks and then consume 4,500 calories in one day. Wait, 4,500 calories? Really?

While that number may be hard to swallow, you are indeed swallowing about that much if you're partaking in the traditional Thanksgiving meal with all its appetizers, turkey legs, sweet potato casserole and a healthy slice of apple pie. And, don't forget to throw in a glass of wine — or two, or three depending on how much your uncle from out of town starts talking politics. According to the Calorie Control Council, a typical holiday meal can be worth about 3,000 calories alone.

We all know the tips from health experts: control your portion size, load up on veggies, skip the appetizers and save your calories for the main event, choose white meat over dark and refrain from drinking your calories. But every once in a while, the holiday gets away from us and we're left wishing for pants with an elastic waistband and a bottle of antacids. If this happens, all hope isn't lost. You can still get up, get moving and burn a few of those 3,000 calories consumed in that one — gloriously tasty — sitting.

Here's a breakdown of where those calories come from and the equivalent activity needed to burn roughly the same amount of calories. (Note: These are estimates based on 185 lb person. 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound.)

Perhaps you could choose one to do with your family — take a walk, or start a tradition of having a post-dinner dance party in your living room. Or, at least file it away for next year when you promise to do better. Besides, what are New Year's resolutions for?


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