Thanksgiving Day Could Cost You 4500 Calories and 229 Grams of Fat!

There are days that support weight loss and days that don’t.

Some days are simply maintenance days – days that influence neither loss nor gain. Then there are some days that could be weight gain days. Thanksgiving is one of those days!

Before you panic and worry that you’ll blow all the progress you made so far with your weight loss, let me assure you that a weight gain day, or even two or 3 in a row isn’t going to keep you from getting to goal. it doesn’t even have to noticeably slow you down. You just need an adjustable plan!???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Thanksgiving is more than a big meal.

Thanksgiving is an eating event! It’s a lot of food all day, all night and usually all the rest of the weekend too. That is where there could be some trouble. Confining your Thanksgiving festivities into just the one day is tricky because you still are in a festive mood on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s a lot of high-calorie goodies left over. In fact, there may be enough high-calorie goodies left over to be tempting all through the following week!

My strategy for the long 4-day Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend is as follows:

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day!
Eat like a King on Thanksgiving Day!

Eat like a King on Thanksgiving Day!

Eat like a King! Just eat! Have what you want without guilt or self-recrimination!


Eat like a Prince! Give yourself a little bit of wiggle room to exceed your normal food plan limits, without getting carried away. It’s a good day to get some exercise by engaging in various physical activities both necessary (yard work, getting out/up Christmas decorations, Black Friday shopping) and entertaining (Black Friday shopping, taking a hike, going bowling, playing a game of hoops or touch football with the family.)


Eat like a Queen! Pay attention to portions and overall balance of nutrients. A treat is allowed but eat with a little “ladylike restraint.” This applies to men as well as women.


Eat like a Pauper! Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and small amounts of protein and grains. Don’t try to make up for eating a lot on Thanksgiving; just reduce your calories to a lower than normal, but not uncomfortable level. Keep moving!

By Monday you’re ready to fully return to your normal weight control food plan.

You should be able to pick up where you left off because you had a reasonable strategy that kept you from throwing caution to the wind but allowed enough flexibility to fully enjoy this once-a-year event!

CALORIE AND FAT GRAMS COUNT FOR A TYPICAL THANKSGIVING MEAL?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


                                                                                     Calories / Fat 

4 slices of turkey breast (about 4 oz. serving)                     320 / 12

1 cup stuffing                                                                       350 / 17

1/2 cup gravy                                                                       100 /  8

1 cup mashed potatoes                                                       237 / 9

1 cup green bean casserole                                                350 / 17

1/2 cup cranberry sauce                                                      110 /  0

2 biscuits                                                                              340 / 12

1 cup sweet potatoes                                                           285 /  7

1/8 of 9″ pumpkin pie                                                           320 / 15

Remember that this calorie count is only for the meal. You will probably have extras available before and after such as nuts, stuffed celery, stuffed mushrooms, cranberry bread, cider, wine, cheese and crackers, chocolates, chips and dips, and Chex mix to name just a few….

….and that’s how you reach or exceed the 4500 calorie count for the day!


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.