The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is typically known for a few key things: struggling to put up with your relatives, scoring sweet Black Friday deals … and incredible meals followed by tryptophan-induced drowsiness and the sinking feeling your favorite pants may never fit again.
Now, we can’t help you with your in-laws, and just about every other story on the site has you covered in the killer sales realm. But if shedding those extra Turkey Day calories is your main concern, you’ve come to the right place.
With the help of MyFitnessPal, we counted the calories in reasonable servings of several classic Thanksgiving dishes. Then we calculated how different activities can burn those calories right off — plus key pieces of gear that can help. (Note: We calculated calorie burn data based on a 175-pound body.) Scroll down and get ready to sweat any gluttonous regret away…
1. Ax the Turkey
You just consumed: 6 oz., 270 calories, 0g carbs, 30g protein, 12g fat
Burn it off with: 33 minutes of chopping wood
Using this gear: Hults Bruk Gran Splitting Axe
Few feelings are more satisfying then stepping out into that cold air and prepping some firewood the same way the pilgrims did. Get your technique down with these expert wood-splitting tips, then shoulder your weapon and start chopping.
2. Rep Out the Stuffing
You just consumed: 1 cup, 135 calories, 27g carbs, 4g protein, 1g fat
Burn it off with: 34 minutes of weightlifting
Using this gear: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
Why not use those carbs to fuel soe fast and furious resistance training? Here’s an EMOM (every minute on the minute) routine we swear by: Warm up with some jumping jacks and running in place. Then grab those adjustable dumbbells and do the following five moves for 60 seconds each: biceps curls, triceps extensions, renegade rows, squats and pushups, with little to no rest between sets. Repeat that circuit twice. Burn it out by alternating three 60-second rounds of sit-ups and lateral shuffles over a dumbbell and go from stuffed to pumped.
3. Spike the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
You just consumed: 1 cup, 239 calories, 35g carbs, 4g protein, 9g fat
Burn it off with: 23 minutes of touch football
Using this gear: Wilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football
For many American families and friends, throwing the ol’ pigskin around after the feast is a time-honored tradition. Not the smash-mouth type? Just 19 minutes of competitive soccer or 23 minutes of ultimate frisbee can have a similar effect.
4. Pedal Off the Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows
You just consumed: 1 cup, 393 calories, 92g carbs, 6g protein, 1g fat
Burn it off with: 30 minutes of vigorous bicycling (14 to 16 mph)
Using this gear: Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet
It’s important to note that you’ll need to pedal with some degree of speed to kiss 400 calories goodbye this quickly. Easy way to tell if you’re going fast enough? Used your phone to map out an eight-mile course. Roll through it in half an hour and you’ll have hit that 16 mph pace. Need some actual wheels to go with that helmet? Here are six nicely priced road bikes we love.
5. Sweat Out the Cranberry Dressing
You just consumed: 1 cup, 152 calories, 39g carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat
Burn it off with: 21 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training
Using this gear: Reebok Nano 9 Training Shoes
Just about every gym offers some sort of HIIT class these days. A couple of our favorites include Barry’s Bootcamp (with locations in 14 states) and Orangetheory Fitness (offered by hundreds of studios across the country). But you don’t even have to leave your house to try it: this gnarly HIIT workout is the perfect length and intensity to make you… just skip the cranberry sauce next time around.
6. Dash Off the Pumpkin Pie
You just consumed: 330 calories, 49g carbs, 6g protein, 14g fat
Burn it off with: 23 minutes of Running at a 6.7 mph (9-minute per mile pace)
Using this gear: Patagonia Men’s Strider Pro Running Shorts
Just like with the bike ride above, you’ll want to make sure you’re running fast enough to hit the target. At the proper pace, you should be able to cover a bit more than 2.5 miles. Prefer to take it a bit slower? Run for 31 minutes at 5 mph (12-minute miles) for a similar burn.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.