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Unusual ways to burn Thanksgiving dinner calories

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Few people expect to set down to a light meal on Thanksgiving. (Source: MGN Online) Few people expect to set down to a light meal on Thanksgiving. (Source: MGN Online)
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(RNN) – Thanksgiving is coming up and let's face it, you're not going follow the advice offered by experts on how to have a healthy Thanksgiving. We're Americans, gluttony is our birthright, and Thanksgiving is the day to celebrate it.

Just how gut-busting is an average Thanksgiving dinner? Let's assume that your plate consists of the following:

  • 6 oz. serving of turkey breast - 175 calories (add 100 cal. for 6 oz. of dark meat)
  • ½ cup Giblet gravy - 90
  • ½ cup Dressing -150
  • ¼ cup Cranberry sauce - 15
  • ½ cup Green bean casserole - 115
  • ½ cup Roasted mixed vegetables - 50
  • Roll with ½ tablespoon of butter - (75+50) 125
  • Slice of pecan pie - 500

Grand total: 1,220 calories. This estimate is probably on the low side. Let's go ahead and make it a hefty 2,500 calories to account for variables and because you're probably not going to measure each portion of food. Plus, you know you're going to go back for another helping of at least some of your favorites.

Should you decide on Thanksgiving Day that you want to do something to offset some of those delicious calories, here are some fun and unusual ways to burn off a few. All calories burned totals are just an estimate, based upon calculations using a 150-pound human being.

Cook the meal and burn some calories before you eat a bite. Calories burned: 180, based on an hour of cooking.

Set and clear the table, one item at a time. That includes silverware. Calories burned: 50, based on 15 minutes of walking.

Play duck, duck, goose when serving the turkey to determine who gets the next piece. Calories burned: 40, based on 5 minutes of jogging.

Instead of choosing the super delicious turkey leg, you could eat a slice of the lean breast meat. Or better yet, go ahead and eat the leg, then "sword fight" with the bones afterward. Calories burned: 110, based on 15 minutes of fencing.

Try putting ankle or wrist weights around your drinking glass to sneak in a little bit of resistance training while you dine. Calories burned: 40, based on 10 minutes of general weightlifting.

Squeeze your glutes as you chew your food. Calories burned: 5, based on 60 squeezes. Not many calories burned to be sure, but you will be toning your tush in the process.

Do jumping jacks between helpings of food, or if it's a really fancy meal, between courses. Calories burned: 90, based on 10 minutes of vigorous jumping jacks.

Arm wrestle for the wishbone or last slice of pumpkin pie. Calories burned: 40, based on 5 minutes of arm wrestling.

Bench press your younger relatives. It's fun that spans the generations. Calories burned: 200, based on 30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting.

Run a quarter of a mile for each item you eat. Using our earlier example of an average Thanksgiving meal, the total comes out to eight items or two miles. Extra helpings? Keep adding to the distance. Added bonus: you'll probably vomit while out running, which will jettison extra calories before they can even enter your blood stream. Calories burned: 340, based on running for 30 minutes at 6 mph.

March in place while watching the game. Calories burned: 300, based on 60 minutes of marching in place.

Do yoga while arguing with your relatives about politics, religion, your marital status, etc. This is good for both your physical and mental well being. Calories burned: 300, based on 30 minutes of Vinyasa yoga.

Do squats every time a child complains about the food or having to sit at the kids' table. Calories burned: 140, based on 10 minutes of squats.

Resolve disputes with a dance-off. Calories burned: 170, based on 30 minutes of modern dancing.

Practice your Feats of Strength in preparation for Festivus (if you celebrate): Calories burned 100, based on 15 minutes of vigorous weightlifting.

You will want to remember this wonderful day, so be sure to take a group photo. Calories burned: 15, based on 10 minutes of standing.

It's been a long day, take a nap. Calories burned: 60, based an hour of sleeping.

If you do all of these exercises you could burn around 2,200 calories! Now go ahead and have another slice of pie. You earned it.

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