Thanksgiving Day Dinner Calorie Count

Thanksgiving Dinner Ranges From 2,500 – 5,000 Calories. Is That A Big Deal?

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving.  I can almost smell the turkey roasting in the oven. Oh, how I love a good ole’ traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Give me the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Yummy. I am drooling as I write this. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving dinner comes with a price tag.

Depending on who you talk to, what website you visit, or which blog expert you read, Thanksgiving dinner can run upwards to 5,000 calories.  Now based on the calorie calculator from, a 5′ 9″  35-year-old man weighing 180 lbs. and is “somewhat active” should consume no more than 2,400 calories a day.  Adjust the figures for a 35-year-old woman at 5′ 5″ and 135 lbs. and it drops to 1,800 calories a day. So for the average man or woman, a Thanksgiving dinner could equal up to 2 to 2.5 times their daily caloric intake–in one seating! Yikes!!

So what’s a person to do? If you search the internet, you will find all sorts of creative ideas for “adjusting” your Thanksgiving traditional meal.  Recipes abound for low-fat mashed potatoes made with vegetable broth instead of cream, roasted veggies instead of the green bean casserole or candied yams, and low-fat, low-calorie pumpkin pie. The experts suggest sticking to skinless turkey breasts and bland, butter-free, sausage-free stuffing. Ugh. Sorry folks, but that’s just not for me…

Thank you, but no thank you.  I’ll stick with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. It’s why I selected the image at the top of the post. Yes, I know that it is not “the popular” Norman Rockwell image of the family around the dinner but this picture represents what a real Thanksgiving dinner means to me. It reminds me of a simpler time, when the Thanksgiving dinner was a true feast for the whole family. I love the image of the mother walking with the big turkey and the two youngsters tagging along with the gravy and what I assume is some lovely mashed potatoes. I can almost smell the food wafting through the air.

That picture represents to me a time when things were simpler. It was a time with no McDonalds, no Swanson frozen dinners, and no Hamburger Helper. It was a world where drinking a soda was the exception rather than an every day event and no one drank energy drinks. It was a world of home cooked meals and home baked goodies. It was a world free from the fat, sodium, and calorie laden foods we consume on a daily basis.  It was a world where you could sit down to a 3,500 calorie meal once a year and not have to worry about it.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m going to sit down and have my Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the goodies. I’m going to let that meal transport me to that simpler time. I’m going to enjoy the company of my family– my mother, my daughter and her fiance, his mother, and my good friend, Steve.  I’m going to bask in the light and the warmth of the love around that dinner table full of that wonderful food.  And the calories? I’ll worry about them some other day. Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!


4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day Dinner Calorie Count

  1. You know what I’m gonna say, Preston 😉

    One day will not kill anyone. It’s a simple as that. That’s the problem people have at the holidays: they think that it’s going to be a never-ending month of food.

    It doesn’t have to be. Just enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and then get back to eating in moderation afterwards. Have Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I am totally with you on this. Thanksgiving (and maybe Christmas) is the one day of the year when we are allowed to stuff our gullets. I’m on Weight Watchers right now, which means I keep track of everything I eat and count points. I will NOT be counting points on Thanksgiving.

  3. Round of applause to this! For sure. One splurge feast every once in a while ain’t gonna hurt anyone. It’s probably way better for you than all the soda and fast food that people consume on a daily basis. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving 🙂

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