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Breaking down your Thanksgiving dinner: By the numbers
With many Americans eating more than triple their daily recommended calories on Turkey Day, the annual feast does some serious damage to waistlines
 
The average American is expected to consume some 3,157 calories this Thanksgiving, and that's only if you don't go back for seconds!
The average American is expected to consume some 3,157 calories this Thanksgiving, and that's only if you don't go back for seconds!

Put your stretchy pants on — Thanksgiving is finally here. It's estimated that the average American consumes over three times the daily number of recommended calories on the unofficial kick-off to the glutinous holiday season (depending on your weight, you can pack on as many as five pounds by the time New Year's Day rolls around). So, what's the best way to avoid overeating on Turkey Day and control your calorie count? Don't skip breakfast, says Kathleen M. Zelman at WebMD. Although many people avoid eating to "save room" for the big feast, eating something small in the morning means you won't be starving by the time the turkey is carved. It also helps to be aware of the foods that pack the most calories, and modify your portion size accordingly. If this is the year you're finally going to keep your winter waistline in check, take a look at how your dinner plate breaks down nutritionally:

Turkey (dark meat with skin)
Serving size: Two or three slices (8 oz.)
Calories: 424
Fat: 17.8g
Carbs: 0g
(Source)

Stuffing
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 320
Fat: 18g
Carbs: 42g
(Source)

Green bean casserole
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 161
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 17g
(Source)

Mashed potatoes and gravy
Serving size: 1 cup + 1/4 cup
Calories: 237 + 206 (443 total)
Fat: 9g + 16g
Carbs: 35g + 8g
(Source 1, 2)

Cranberry sauce
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 86
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 22g
(Source

Cornbread
Serving size: 1 piece
Calories: 173
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 28g
(Source)

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows 
Serving size: 1 heaping scoop
Calories: 609
Fat: 8.8g
Carbs: 131.6g
(Source)

White wine
Serving size: 1 glass
Calories: 122
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 3g
(Source)

Pecan pie
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 503
Fat: 27g
Carbs: 64g
(Source)

Pumpkin pie
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 316
Fat: 14g
Carbs: 41g
(Source)

Total
Calories: 3,157
Fat: 124g
Carbs: 388.6

Total if you go back for seconds (who doesn't?)
Calories: 6,314
Fat: 248g
Carbs: 777.2

Recommended daily intake
Calories: 2,400 (men), 1,850 (women)
Fat: 80g, 62g
Carbs: 360g, 275g
(Source)

 

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