This is how I walk into the dining room

It’s that time of the year where family and friends gather together and give thanks. Part of this great American tradition is to indulge in gargantuan amounts of food. Turkey, whipped potatoes, stuffing, and pies (never forget the pies!). Unfortunately, you’re the one person in the family who wants to be careful with what and how much you eat. Maybe you’re on your way to reaching your goal weight. Or, you’ve just started a routine and don’t want to sabotage your progress. My initial reaction is to say, “Go for it! Have a ball! You’re with family and part of being with family is eating all those delicious recipes your grandma passed down.” You need to enjoy life and food is a big part of life, especially during this time of year. But, pardon the pun, can we have our cake and eat it to? It’s possible.


More than likely your family isn’t whipping up the healthiest versions of each Thanksgiving Day dish. With that being said you can use the following guide to help you track the calories you consume while enjoying that delicious food!

Turkey (dark meat with skin): Serving size: Two – three slices (8 oz.), Calories: 430

Stuffing: Serving size: 1 cup, Calories: 320

Green bean casserole: Serving size: 1 serving, Calories: 160

Mashed potatoes and gravy: Serving size: 1 cup + 1/4 cup of gravy, Calories: 240 + 205 (445 total)

Cranberry sauce: Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 85

Cornbread: Serving size: 1 piece, Calories: 175

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows: Serving size: 1 heaping scoop, Calories: 610

White wine: Serving size: 1 glass, Calories: 120

Pecan pie: Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 505

Pumpkin pie: Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 320

Total Calories: 3,170

While 3,000+ calories seems like a lot it’s a far cry from the mythical 4,500 calories most people claim you consume at a Thanksgiving dinner. Go crazy for turkey for the protein and sweet potatoes for the fiber (without the marshmallows and 3 sticks of butter) if you’re trying to be better than most. Follow it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and don’t eat the crust (hey, I said IF you’re trying to be better than most). Another option is to have a little bite every dish. You’ll satisfy all your cravings, sweet and savory, and you’ll feel satiated on less food.

Remember, you’re not supposed to be perfect. You’re just trying to maintain progress and enjoy life. Enjoy life and maybe next you can be host the healthy version of Thanksgiving with some delicious recipes you can find here. Happy Thanksgiving!



About Josh Jarmin

Originally from Washington, D.C. (NOVA) Josh moved to Atlanta to be a Middle School history teacher after graduating from James Madison University. He joined the Marine Corps infantry as a reservist and served in Iraq honorably. Josh then turned his attention to personal training after his tour in order to help others reach their health/fitness goals. At one point he was 275lbs and 28% body fat. Now he's 195lbs and 13.5% body fat. Josh worked for several fitness facilities in Atlanta and developed a loyal following of trainees. He's created a training program of his own personal design and has established himself as one of the top kettlebell and body movement experts in the Atlanta area. Josh is currently the Co-Owner and Director of Fitness at Blueprint Fitness.

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