How to burn off those extra calories you eat at Thanksgiving dinner

DENVER – It’s that time of year when we stuff ourselves full of stuffing, potatoes, turkey and sweets in celebration of the first Thanksgiving.

Between the dark meat, carbohydrates, butter, sugar and alcohol, nutrition experts estimate the average American eats about 4,500 calories throughout a Thanksgiving meal. So, while the holiday is a workout for your taste buds, you’re also going to need a workout for your muscles to burn off the extra calories.

Channel 2’s Joanna Canals, an AFAA certified fitness trainer, broke down the typical Thanksgiving dinner to get you thinking twice about grabbing seconds at the dinner table.

  • 4 oz. turkey = jump rope for 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • ½ cup stuffing = 10 minutes of stair running
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes with ¼ cup gravy = 150 burpees
  • ¼ cup cranberry sauce = 60 push ups
  • 6 oz. red wine = 35-minute walk
  • 1 slice pumpkin pie = 60 minutes of yoga
  • 1 slice apple pie = 5k run

If you’d rather do one exercise to cover all the calories consumed throughout your Thanksgiving meal, Joanna says it would require running from Denver to Boulder, or cycling from Parker to Boulder and back.

The average American should consume about 2,000 calories per day. You do not need to burn every calorie consumed during Thanksgiving. But, health experts say it’s a good idea to burn off the excess calories your body doesn’t need.