How to Stay on Track: Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Stay on Track: Thanksgiving Dinner

Here’s the deal. The average American will consume about 3,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner. So we did the math (kinda) to give you an idea of what those macros look like, and came up with a few tricks to help you stay on track through the holiday.

Pro tips:

  • If you know about how many calories you’re going to overeat on Thanksgiving, you can take that overage and cut them out of your meals the week prior. Take 10% of the overage off of every day the week before (or after) and then you’ve got a surplus of 70% to get in on Thanksgiving! You can also cut 10 days before and 10 days after. Whatever you like. It’s all just math.
  • You can either increase your activity level, or you can decrease your caloric intake the days before, the day of, or the days following to curb the excess. 
  • Everyone's goals are different and we're not here to tell you how to eat, but erring on the side of "more protein less junk" is a pretty standard way to keep your nutrition in check and feel better the next day.
  • Grab like half the amount of what you think you're going to eat. You're still going to get way too full, and you can always go back for seconds. But if you start out the gate with 2 ladles of mashed potatoes on your plate, you're going to eat them. And you might hate yourself later.
  • Don't hate yourself. Love yourself. But make it easier on yourself and don't overeat to the point of regret. No one likes regret.

White meat turkey:

People don't pass up white meat turkey. (Except Vegans, and unless it’s dry.)

3oz = 125cal: 26P, 0C, 1F

Dark meat turkey:

You’re a flavor god. You love dark meat turkey. And that sweet brown meat is winking at you.

3oz = 134cal: 22P, 0C, 5F

Mashed potatoes: 

If mashed potatoes are on the menu, can you resist? No. Add butter and heavy cream? Done.

4oz = 261cal: 3P, 38C, 10F

Sweet potato casserole:

Someone else prepared your favorite carb and added lots of SUGAR! It's a party in your mouth. You're getting seconds.

5oz = 338cal: 4P, 67C, 7F

Green bean casserole:

It’s hit or miss, to be honest. And how did someone bastardize the already-worst vegetable? But we eat it anyway.

1 cup = 191cal: 4P, 22C, 10F


Can we live without stuffing? Yes. Do we want to? Not today!

1 cup = 342cal: 11P, 30C, 20F

Cranberry sauce:

This exists primarily to remind us that we’re gluttons. And we're totally fine with it.

1 cup = 440cal: 0P, 100C, 0F

Turkey gravy:

Name one dish that isn't made exponentially greater by adding gravy. Can’t do it. 

8oz = 486cal: 48P, 2C, 28F

Pumpkin pie:

The staple. The pièce de résistance. The one thing everyone will eat even if it makes their stomach split and throw them into septic shock. Bet.

1.5 slices = 484cal: 9P, 63C, 22F

Whipped Cream:

There is no place for pumpkin pie without whipped cream. And honestly it’s the best part.

1 cup = 204cal: 1P, 4C, 22F

Apple Cider:

This is just a sugary assault to the taste buds. But it's warm, and sometimes it's bubbly, so we can't pass it up. 

8oz = 120cal: 0P, 30C, 0F


Even if you're not drinking it, you're still bringing it to share so your boozy aunt won't remember your side eye.

3 glasses = 500cal: 0P, 65C, 28F


Coffee is a necessity. Also helpful in getting your family out of your house after dinner. It has no calories and might be the healthiest consumable at your table today. We've got you covered.

Side note: C&K Coffee will help you burn 4 more calories/hour per cup, so for the two hours that the coffee is at peak in your system, you’re burning 8 more calories than you would if you just drank water.

By that math...

375 cups of coffee (not recommended in one sitting) = 3,000 calories burned. Boom. Solutions.

And last but not least…. Wait no. That was it. If you’re eating dinner rolls on Thanksgiving you clearly just don’t care. (But if you do: 1 roll = 100 cal, 2P, 19C, 2F.)

Bottom line is: eat whatever you're going to eat, and we won't judge you. We're doing the same. But if you go all in and eat the 3,000-calorie meal above, just know that it'll take you (the average person) about 4,000 burpees to burn it off. Or 4 hours of running really fast. Or 4 hours of climbing at unsafe speeds on the stairmaster. 

So stay mindful and do what you can to curb holiday weight gain by going into it with priorities: a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving from C&K