Thanksgiving excess: Just know the facts

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Thanksgiving, a day that shall forever live in gluttony. It is also a day of family and friends and celebration of the early beginnings of what ultimately became the United States of America. So above all else by all means enjoy the day fully and with minimal restraint. Just go for it BUT know the facts.

I looked at what I believe to be a rather typical Thanksgiving Day meal. It consists of turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes all covered in gravy. I added some creamed corn, cranberry sauce, a dinner roll with butter and a dessert of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. It is historically inaccurate but shows the enduring conception most Americans have of that First Thanksgiving. (Wikipedia)
The First Thanksgiving by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. It is historically inaccurate but shows the enduring conception most Americans have of that First Thanksgiving. (Wikipedia)

Also included was one glass of wine. That added up to a rather impressive 1539 calories and a scary level of sodium at 4311 mg. The biggest contributor to the sodium over dose was the gravy at 1373 mg so you might want to consider cutting back on that just a wee bit.Yet it is a multifaceted meal with much to enjoy as compared with just one bloomin’ onion from Outback Steak House which checks in at 1950 calories and 3840 mg of sodium. One onion or one great meal, your call.

So what should we do? As always the singularly most important thing to do is always have the facts. The meal I reviewed will vary in many ways from the meal you will most likely consume. So take a minute before you eat and review all that will be eaten. The goal is not to scare but to be informed.

Then get honest with your options. Sure you can exercise a bit more but odds are it won’t be anywhere near what is needed to burn off 1539 calories. That would require something a bit beyond eight hours of walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour. Fact of the matter is the most you will likely walk Thanksgiving Day is over to the television to watch the Steelers play the Colts.

The real message in all of this is to know and accept that no matter how focused you are on gaining and maintaining proper healthy weight and great health there are just times when the rules get suspended. Friday morning you must and you will get back on your healthier track. But on Thanksgiving Day just relax and gobble it all up with gusto.

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