Burn 700 calories cooking thanksgiving dinner

Published on November 16 2012 - 3:07 PM
Burn 700 Calories Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

I love being in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. Between the delicious smells, nice company and constant foot traffic (everyone finds a reason to stop by the kitchen on Thanksgiving!), it’s the place to be in the lead-up to the year’s most sumptuous meal. But anyone who’s ever hoisted a turkey out of the oven or chopped so many veggies their wrists have cramped knows that making Thanksgiving dinner can be hard work. And though a lot of attention is paid to the calories consumed on Thanksgiving, not that much thought is given to the calories burned. It turns out to be a lot.

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We decided to calculate the number of calories burned while making Thanksgiving dinner for the November/December issue of EatingWell. Using some of the Mayo Clinic’s research into working metabolic rates (and some simple calculating), we were able to work out just how much you burn while you’re cooking 7 traditional dishes for your Thanksgiving meal. Here’s what we found:

1. Turkey & Gravy
Calories burned cooking (45 minutes of seasoning and prepping the bird as well as stirring and whisking the gravy): 122 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Brined Turkey & Gravy: 237 calories

2. Mashed Potatoes
Calories burned cooking (20 minutes of peeling, cutting and mashing potatoes): 54 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Mashed Potatoes: 376 calories

Don't Miss: Watch our Food Editor Make Healthier, Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

3. Green Beans
Calories burned cooking (20 minutes of trimming, cooking and tossing the beans, as well as making a sweet-and-sour sauce to dress them): 54 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Green Bean Casserole: 330 calories
Bonus savings: Use EatingWell’s 5 Tips for a Healthier Green Bean Casserole

4. Stuffing
Calories burned cooking (75 minutes of chopping fruits and vegetables, prepping bread, sautéing sausage and mixing ingredients together): 203 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Sausage Stuffing: 665 calories

5. Corn Pudding
Calories burned cooking (30 minutes of chopping ingredients, whisking and mixing): 81 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Corn Pudding: 491 calories

6. Pumpkin Pie
Calories burned cooking (50 minutes of measuring ingredients and mixing): 135 calories
Calories in a serving of Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream: 604 calories

Related: See How to Make the Easiest Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ever

7. Cranberry Sauce
Calories burned Cooking (20 minutes of prepping cranberries and stirring the pot): 54 calories
Calories in a serving of Classic Cranberry Sauce: 95 calories

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Matthew Thompson is a former associate food editor for EatingWell Magazine.