Aug 20, 2019 | Updated: 11:45 AM EDT

Holiday Calorie Countdown Reaches New Heights—This Thanksgiving Be Thankful for the Gym

Nov 26, 2014 06:03 PM EST

Classic Turkey Dinner
(Photo : Fairway Market)

With only a day away before perhaps the most food-centric holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, many health conscious families are seeking out alternative recipes for the classics. Cauliflower mashed "fauxtatoes", Tofurkey, and crustless pumpkin pies are amongst the biggest searches at the moment, but exactly how much worse are the originals really? They taste much richer, made with cream and butter galore, but many are questioning the actual caloric intake for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Any guesses as to how much your family's Thanksgiving will set you back at the gym?

Well, while there is some great contention as to whether you're the one plate, or second serving kind of individual, a new study published by the Calorie Control Council this week reveals that the average American Thanksgiving dinner equates the consumption of roughly 4,500 calories - 45 percent of which come directly from fat. And in a recent press release, the council says that's like feasting down on a dinner of three straight sticks of butter.

But when countered by professional chefs and health experts, the Calorie Control Council says that the caloric intake can in fact be curbed by a few thousand, though the meal will still likely weigh in on the heavier meals you'll ever dine on.

By simply replacing healthier vegetable and grain alternatives, while also being conscious of the sodium and fat used in the cooking process, the chefs of the family can whittle down the massive dent in calories. And researchers say that's not the only measure you can take to keep the pounds off this holiday season.

Nutritionist and health expert specializing in the feat of holiday feasts, Dr. Amanda Stevens says "I would recommend to push diet from your mindframe, that will literally set you up to fail. Realize you will end up splurging on Thanksgiving, but instead of creating a diet; create a limit [instead]."

And there are a couple of other nifty little tricks you can consider to curb the weight of calories this Thursday. By working out earlier in the day and taking a post-dinner walk, you can help kick-start your metabolism for the day. And by sipping water in between bites, you'll feel that satisfying full feeling, far before you finish your plate.

But most importantly, it's important to keep a positive attitude and enjoy your family and the feast on the important holiday that gives thanks to all the blessings we each have in our lives.

"Don't beat yourself up; even the healthiest people take an extra bite or that slice of cherry pie" Dr. Stevens says. "Own it, and let it go; and when I say let it go, that means take it and stop."

"Know your limits to avoid gorging, and that horrid food hangover."

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