This Is How Much Exercise It Takes To Burn Off Thanksgiving Sides

If you’re an inner fat kid like me, then you’re probably already drooling at the thought of all the delicious food you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving. I literally can’t wait to eat at least seven pounds of green bean casserole, sweet potato pie, and stuffing. Thanksgiving is only one day, yes, but for many people (hi) that “it’s only one day, YOLO” mindset can set off a series of unfortunate events that leads to a holiday weight gain, which I’d like to try to avoid. So I’ve decided to take your favorite Thanksgiving sides and put them in perspective—how much exercise does it take to burn each one off? Is it really worth having more of Aunt Marge’s mediocre boxed stuffing when you’re already on the verge of exploding? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not here to make that choice for you, I’m just here to give more information. 


One serving of stuffing equals 195 calories. Depending on how fast you run, running a 5-minute mile or jog-walking a 13-minute mile is what it will take in order to work off this 5-star side dish. Honestly, that’s pretty doable, especially if you and your cousin go out to smoke for a walk around the neighborhood after the meal. So go ahead and have that spoonful if you want. If you pack the stuffing onto your plate, increase the distance accordingly.

Cranberry Sauce

86 calories for one slice of cranberry sauce… so let’s say one serving is about 200 calories. To burn that off, choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, at the mall, in your apartment complex, or wherever else you can find stairs. Opt for 15 minutes worth of climbing steps outside or just hop on a Stairmaster at the gym. Again, very doable.

Sweet Potato Pie

394 calories of sugary, delicious sweet potato goodness. It’s worth every bite, but will take you a little bit longer to work off. To burn around 200-300 calories, you can do 30 minutes of burpees. Spend about 45 minutes with generous breaks in between sets and you’ll have earned your pie. Ugh that’s like, a lot of burpees. 

Mashed Potatoes

One serving of mashed potatoes will charge you a grand total of 237 calories (why can’t we have nice things?), give or take 25 calories depending on if you add gravy or not. Hop on a treadmill at the gym for an hour and you shouldn’t feel those mashed potatoes weighing you down anymore.

Pumpkin Pie

It’s 323 calories for a single piece of pumpkin pie on its own. Add 137 calories if you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (which you should). To burn 500 calories of whatever sugary treat you ate for dessert, take an hour Zumba class and dance it all off.

Remember, this is the amount of recommended exercise per serving… and we all know we don’t just have *one plate* at Thanksgiving dinner. We have 3-5 plates the day of and two more of leftovers the day after. So you could do all this exercise, or you could just not work out at all and realize that one (or three) days of eating different than normal won’t kill you. Happy Thanksgiving, betches!

8 Easy Dishes To Bring To Thanksgiving Dinner

Omg yay. It’s the start of the season where we can totally gorge ourselves on meat, cheese, and carbs until we’re in a catatonic state but no one can say anything cause it’s the holidays and slouchy sweaters and sweatpants are totally in LOL. Welcome to Thanksgiving 2k18.

Because we’re like, adults, the polite thing to do is to bring a side dish, drink, dessert, or whatever to the Thanksgiving meal. Obviously, no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen making an intricate cake or multi-layer appetizer for a bunch of INGRATES that’ll inhale it in all of 30 seconds. What you need is an easy to execute and super impressive dish (or drink) that’ll potentially keep you off people’s radar for the entirety of dinner, making it less likely you’ll be the target of “why aren’t you married yet” or “you should focus on being a mom and not a career” comments. Help.

Boozy Sangria

It isn’t a side dish, but it’ll get your Thanksgiving TURNT, probably lessening the likelihood that Grandpa will start spewing about what a great job Trump is doing (since he’ll be passed out), or a fight ruining dinner because you aren’t married yet and your eggs are dying, according to Aunt Diane. It’s literally as easy as soaking some fruit in booze, adding wine, and dumping it in a nice pitcher.

Cheesy Asparagus Sticks

It’s an easy appetizer that covers a beloved vegetable in carbs and cheese–what more could you want for a holiday centered on ignoring calories? This recipe does require frying, which, fun, but it also allows you to utilize string cheese sticks, which I know you’ve been hoarding in your office fridge anyway.

Cranberry Sauce

YEP. You can either mash up the sh*t from the can that EVERYONE loves but no one will admit to liking (secret looooooovvvverrrrs), or make this super simple recipe which requires all of three ingredients. It’s one step long. You can do it. But honestly #cannedforever.


Pumpkin Mousse

Buy some pumpkin and marshmallows along with a few other simple ingredients. Melt, beat, and chill. You can put this sh*t in individual ramekins (for the fancy betches) or in a chocolate pie shell, or say f*ck it and stay home, pretend to be sick, then eat this with a spoon while you watch reruns of The Office. We won’t tell.

Skillet Cornbread With Chives

I mean, cornbread is a mainstay on any southerner’s Thanksgiving table. If you’re not from the dirty South, make this anyway since it requires a bowl, a cast iron skillet, and not much else. It’s best served with fried chicken and collard greens, but turkey and dry stuffing works, too.

Winter Slaw

HEY, you know what your Thanksgiving table needs? Something that at least has the appearance of being healthy. Save the day with this winter slaw from Bon Appetit, which, aside from some heavy chopping, only requires some mixing. Plus, it’s bright and appealing; a welcome change when put next to the white, brown, and tan foods that’ll make up the majority of the Thanksgiving table.

Three-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

I mean, no one DOESN’T like chocolate, probably. This recipe requires some light microwaving, mixing, and folding. Plus, you can top it with beautiful, bright pomegranate seeds, more chocolate, or f*ck it, leave it in a giant bowl in the middle of the table. No one will complain, it’s chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Pears

Melt chocolate, dip pears, sprinkle with crushed salted almonds. DONE. It’s fruit, it’s practically healthy, and it isn’t a pie that’ll sit in the middle of the dining room table that no one will touch.

All of these recipes are pretty simple, but I won’t judge if you really don’t feel like cooking at all. When in doubt, just buy an apple pie and pretend you made it. Or a cheese platter. Sorry not sorry, we can’t all be Ina Garten.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)