Between the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and miles of pies, the average American eats between 3,000 and 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. Considering that the typical, moderately-active woman needs approximately 1,800 calories a day and the average man needs between 2,200 and 2,400, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that’s nearly two days worth of calories in a single meal!
The key to keeping things under control consists of limiting yourself to just that one day, says Tom Holland, author of Swim, Bike, Run –Eat: The Complete Guide to Fueling Your Triathlon. “It’s the one time of the year you should be able to eat what you want without counting calories. But it’s a good idea to plan activities both before and after dinner to burn off at least some of it,” notes Holland.