Thanksgiving meal could exceed a whopping 4,500 caloriesEven the most health conscientious eaters want to enjoy the holiday season. But before you take a bite out of the turkey, dressing and pecan pie its important for you to understand how decadent some of the traditional holiday choices may be. Time magazine reports in their recent article, Your Thanksgiving Dinner Is Equal to 7 Burger King Whoppers that its important to understand that the typical Thanksgiving meal weighs in at about 4,500 calories. Unfortunately, this is twice the amount of calories a man or woman needs in a given day.
Thanksgiving meal could equal Seven McDonald's Big Macs
So how much should you eat? Experts agree that limiting your choices too much may be difficult, but they explain that enjoying Thanksgiving may be about sampling a wide variety of food choices rather than gorging yourself. For example, its not unusual for most diners to consume a bit more than they might on a normal day, but experts suggest that amount should not exceed 800 to 1000 extra calories, not 4,500.
What are the biggest calorie offenders?
What dishes and meats are the biggest calorie offenders? There arent many surprises here. If you guessed the dinner roll, pecan pie and pumpkin pie you are right. Nutritionist estimated that a slice of pecan pie is 500 calories, a dinner roll with butter is 310 and a slice of pumpkin pie is 316. Turkey has approximately 299 and the sweet potato casserole has 300.
Where can you save a few calories? Fill up your plate with mostly salad, with limited dressing, Brussels sprouts and lean meat without the skin and you can save hundreds of calories. If you are able to say no to desserts you will really save calories.
How does Thanksgiving meal compare to other meals?
So how what does 4,500 calories look like? Your Thanksgiving meal may look harmless enough but when you start to consider how it compares to other foods you might be shocked. For example, according to Time Magazine, assuming you ate 4,500 calories that would equate to:
- 9 large boxes of fries at McDonalds
- 7 Whoppers from Burger King
- 2 medium pepperoni pizzas from Pizza Hut
- 37 chicken drumsticks from KFC
- 4 medium cookie dough blizzards from Dairy Queen
- 16 snack boxes of popcorn shrimp from Long John Silvers
- 11 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendys
- 10 classic Beef n Cheddar sandwiches from Arbys
- 48 traditional chicken wings with Honey BBQ sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings
Burning off those unwanted calories
So if you are set on enjoying your Thanksgiving meal there are some steps you can take to limit the amount of dietary damage. For example, thousands of Americans have signed up to participate in the Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving race held in cities across the nation. Its scheduled early in the morning, leaving plenty of time for football and great food.
Experts argue that Thanksgiving doesnt have to be a complete belly buster. Eat in moderation and eat only what you love.