Balance the Big Meal with Your Exercise Goals

Balance the Big Meal with Your Exercise GoalsThe average holiday meal can contain 4,500 calories, according to the Calorie Control Council, which advocates for healthy lifestyles.

If you’re trying to measure the pleasure against your hard-won exercise gains, here’s a guide to learn how much yumminess you’ve earned — or how hard you’ll have to work after the big meal. (Estimates are based on media sources*, USDA figures, and exercise for an adult weighing 160 to 180 pounds.)

A la carte

  • 5 ounces of turkey: Run 1.5 miles
  • ½ cup stuffing: 20 minutes biking
  • A cup of mashed potatoes: Run 2 ½ miles
  • A slice of apple pie: 34 minutes biking
  • A helping of cranberry sauce: 13 minutes of weight training
  • A serving of green-bean casserole: 10 minutes of rowing


By the plate

  • 4 ounces of skinless white turkey, plus a combined cup of stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy tallies up almost 600 calories. Estimated effort to burn that off: 70 minutes of ice skating.
  • Don’t forget that pumpkin pie and whipped cream add on another 325 calories – which will get you 40 minutes of aerobics.

Of course, everybody is different. We all have different priorities when celebrating with family and friends. And it’s up to you how much of this is worth how much of that.

But regardless, move your body on the holiday.  Take a walk, rake the leaves, play with the grandkids, or do a full-blown workout if you like.

Celebrate your blessings with movement every day!

* USA Today, Time, Runner’s World


Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.

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