A blog by runners. For runners.

Thanksgiving dinner by the calories and miles


I start each Thanksgiving with an 8K turkey trot. At Thanksgiving dinner, my family members always comment I can eat however much I want of the delicious feast because I already ran that day. Well, that’s not exactly true. According to this calories burned calculator, I’ll only burn about 520 calories – close to the number of calories in a typical serving size of dark meat turkey plus cranberry sauce. The problem is I also want stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, cornbread, and my fair share of dessert! (And I’m sure not alone.)

Use this handy chart to figure out about how many miles you’ll need to run to burn off your Thanksgiving dinner:

Dark meat turkey w/ skin 8 oz.
(2-3 slices)
424 3.5
White meat turkey w/o skin 8 oz. 316 2.6
Stuffing 1 cup 320 2.7
Green bean casserole 1 scoop 161 1.3
Roasted brussel sprouts 4 oz. 80 0.7
Sweet potato casserole w/ marshmallows 1 scoop 609 5.1
Mashed potatoes 1 cup 237 2
Gravy 1/4 cup 206 1.7
Cranberry sauce 1 slice 86 0.7
Dinner roll with butter 1 roll 310 2.6
Cornbread One piece 173 1.4
Pumpkin pie 1 slice 316 2.6
Pecan pie 1 slice 503 4.2
Whipped cream 1/2 cup 75 0.6
White wine 5 oz. glass 122 1
Apple cider 1 cup 117 1
Coffee with cream and sugar 1 cup 77 0.6

If you ate this entire Thanksgiving meal (and didn’t go for second helpings), you’d have to run 34.3 miles just to burn it off.


Of course, it’s unlikely that overeating during one meal will leave lasting effects on your waistline. But if you attend the Thanksgiving potluck at the office, dinner at your sister’s place then your in-laws’, and you nosh on leftovers for a week afterwards, you may come away carrying an extra pound or two or five. So use this handy chart to keep you on track (or to help plan your Black Friday run!)

*Miles you need to run to burn off the food. Calories based on a 160 lb. person running an average pace of 10:00 minute miles (which equals about 120 calories burned per mile). If you weigh less or run slower, you’ll need to run a longer distance to burn off the calories. If you weight more or run faster, you can run fewer miles to run off the dishes. 

Written by Jen Matz.