It Takes A Lot Of Exercise To Burn Off That Thanksgiving Meal. I’m Glad I Have The ‘Pregnancy’ Excuse This Year

By  | 

I think the last thing we all need the days after Thanksgiving is a little guilt to go with our expanding waistlines. Do you have any idea how much exercise it takes to burn off your Thanksgiving meal? If your answer was, “a lot,” you would be right.  I’m glad I have the ‘pregnancy’ excuse to carry a few extra pounds around the holidays this year.

According to the the Dietary Guidelines for 2010 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women need about 1600 to 2400 calories a day, depending on their size and level of activity. The average Thanksgiving meal clocks about 3,000 calories. I believe it. Mmmm. Delicious.

How many other days of the year do you get to pour gravy all over your plate without flinching? Not many. Or punctuate a multi-course meal with two pieces of pie? If you are looking out for your health at all, this type of meal is probably few and far between. Which is why I think most of us should let our fat asses relax the days after Thanksgiving, and bask in the glow of the once a year feast. Then again, I am not as thin as I used to be. It’s probably thinking like this that has put me in larger jeans.

So, if you are like me and didn’t think for a second about portion sizes or keeping your calorie count at bay on Thanksgiving, here are some exercises you can do – courtesy of The Huffington Post – to melt that 3,000 calorie feast away.

If your exercise of choice is walking, it would take 13 hours to burn off your 3,000 calorie feast. Oh my God. I walk everywhere, and always thought that was a good way to get my exercise in. Apparently not as effective as I thought. Too bad I hate running because running at the pace of a 10-minute mile would burn 3,000 calories in 4 hours.

The elliptical is a popular choice for many gym-goers. At a moderate pace, it would take six and a half hours to burn off 3,000 calories according to It would take the same amount of time to burn those calories with some casual lap swimming. Considering these were always my gym-exercises-of-choice, I think my workout lengths weren’t as effective as I thought.

These statistics are stressing me out a little. Maybe I’ll go for some yoga instead. Maybe not. It would take a whopping 17 hours of Hatha yoga to burn off my over-indulgent Thanksgiving feast.

Alright. I definitely won’t be breaking this kind of a sweat this year. Even though I totally stand behind the occasional pig-out, the stats about how much time it takes to burn off the kind of caloric indiscretions a day like Thanksgiving brings, might make me think twice about reaching for that second piece of pie next year. Emphasis on “might.”

(photo: Brent Hofacker/