How Many Calories Are in Your Thanksgiving Dinner?

by / Monday, 19 November 2018 / Published in Fitness and Wellness, Healthy Living
calories at Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is about food, family, food, friends, and did we mention food?

The average American will consume 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner – not to mention the delicious turkey sandwich leftovers. But how does that meal break down?

Here are the average calories in our favorite Thanksgiving foods:


Turkey on its own isn’t that bad, but going for dark meat and the crispy skin ups the calories. A 3.5 ounce serving of dark meat with skin comes in at 206 calories. If you choose white meat, no skin, you’ll be at just 177 calories.

Mashed Potatoes

Made with whole milk, butter, and salt, one cup of mashed potatoes is 237 calories. To slash calories, try making a lighter version with low-fat milk or Greek yogurt, or stick to a smaller portion size.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are usually healthier than regular potatoes. Which is true, unless they’re candied at Thanksgiving dinner. Four ounces of candied sweet potatoes has 20 grams of sugar and 187 calories. Plain, roasted sweet potato is only 98 calories.


The average stuffing has 195 calories per half cup. High-fat sausage is one of the biggest culprits of high-calorie stuffing. Try reducing the sausage and adding more veggies to your stuffing instead.

Green Bean Casserole

Made with green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy friend onions, green bean casserole hardly counts as a healthy side! A half cup serving clocks in at 227 calories – which seems especially high considering a half cup of plain green beans has only 20.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries are tart, so most cranberry sauces add tons of sugar to balance it out. This leads to a side dish that averages 102 calories for a quarter cup serving.


What would Thanksgiving dinner be without the gravy to hold it all together? The good news is that a quarter cup of gravy has only 25 calories, so a little gravy is a smart way to add a big flavor punch.

Pumpkin Pie

Just when you think you can’t eat any more, someone brings out the pie. But 1/8th of a 9-inch pumpkin pie has 280 calories. Although it doesn’t seem that bad when you compare it to apple or pecan pie, which are 411 and 500 calories, respectively.

Eat smart, but enjoy yourself!

Thanksgiving is only one meal, so it’s important to enjoy yourself and your traditions. But if you do overeat, the staff here at Premier Fitness Source has you covered. We’ve got all the best home fitness equipment so you can work off those holiday calories!