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

Thanksgiving dinner
(Image credit: <a href="">Courtesy&nbsp;Shutterstock</a>)

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.)

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Calories: 424

Fat: 17.8g

Carbs: 0g



Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 320

Fat: 18g

Carbs: 42g


Green bean casserole

Serving size: 1 serving

Calories: 161

Fat: 9g

Carbs: 17g


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



Serving size: 1 piece

Calories: 173

Fat: 5g

Carbs: 28g


Sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Serving size: 1 heaping scoop

Calories: 609

Fat: 8.8g

Carbs: 131.6g


White wine

Serving size: 1 glass

Calories: 122

Fat: 0g

Carbs: 3g


Pecan pie

Serving size: 1 slice

Calories: 503

Fat: 27g

Carbs: 64g


Pumpkin pie

Serving size: 1 slice

Calories: 316

Fat: 14g

Carbs: 41g



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


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