Ah, Thanksgiving. A time to seriously over-indulge in some delish foods without feeling like a total piggy. A time to eat until you can’t button your pants anymore. A time when the leftovers are better than the original.
But hold on a second – have you ever stopped to think about how many calories you’re ACTUALLY consuming? Between the piles of mashed potatoes and second helpings of pumpkin pie, you are most likely taking in enough calories to last you a week.
Yes, it’s true, Thanksgiving can definitely be a time when you can cut loose and not worry about your diet and exercise regiment, but do you really want to totally sabotage that healthy diet?
If you answered yes to that question, stop reading now and go indulge in a few plates of stuffing for me. Everyone says ignorance is bliss and that couldn’t be truer than at Thanksgiving dinner.
If you answered no, here’s a list of the average amount of calories in some of our favorite holiday dishes. Read it, learn it, know it, then choose wisely
Turkey: Thankfully, the centerpiece to any Thanksgiving dinner is also one of the healthiest parts – before you add that delicious gravy, that is. Four ounces of white meat is only about 180 calories, but if you go for dark meat, 4 ounces goes up at 323 calories. And with gravy, it can be as much as 350 calories. (And remember, most of us eat a lot more than 4 ounces, so these numbers obviously vary.)
Stuffing: My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, I usually take 2 or 3 giant scoops of this stuff. Or at least I did, before I realized that the average stuffing recipe has 165-190 calories per half cup. That means I’m probably taking in 600 calories in stuffing ALONE.
Cranberry Sauce: It’s cranberries! It’s fruit! It must be healthy, right? Wrong. That jellied Thanksgiving staple will set you back about 110 calories for 1/4 cup.
Buttery Biscuits: Rolls or biscuits are always yummy, especially when you top ’em off with some melty butter. They’re also small, so eating two or three is never very difficult. But these little guys can be up to 250 calories for just ONE – and that’s without the butter added on top.
Sweet Potatoes (with marshmallows): Sweet potatoes are always touted for their health benefits, but all that goes out the window when you cook them in butter and throw marshmallows and brown sugar on top. Add all that and a small serving can have over 300 calories! Imagine what a Thanksgiving-size serving will do to your waistline.
Mashed Potatoes: It is obviously completely necessary to have a variety of potatoes on the table during Thanksgiving, and creamy, fluffy, mashed potatoes are too good to pass up. But they’re also usually made with tons of butter, leaving the calorie count around 200 for one small cup.
Creamed Spinach: The presence of a leafy green vegetable may make you feel a little less guilty about all of the food you’ve been stuffing in your mouth all day but, uh, it kind of shouldn’t. Yes, spinach itself is a super healthy food, but once you consider that this way it’s made with heavy cream and a good amount of butter, it changes things. It can be up to 140 calories for a small serving.
Pumpkin Pie: One of the best holiday desserts ever is also surprisingly one of the healthier holiday desserts. While it’s still fattening, delicious pumpkin pie boasts a decently low calorie count (well, compared to other desserts that is). For 1/8 of a pie, it’s about 316 calories.
Apple Pie: I wish apple pie was as good for you as it sounds. But it’s just not. An 1/8 of a pie will set you back about 411 calories. All of that sugar adds up, ladies.
Pecan Pie: Pecan pie is sugary, sweet, and totally addicting – so of course, it’s one of the most fattening desserts you can eat. For an 1/8 of a pie, it can be up to 500 calories. Ouch. Consider that when you’re standing in front of the fridge at midnight.