Balancing Your lbs

Posted November 15, 2007 in Mind Body Spirit

Every year, before Thanksgiving, there is always a gaggle of health articles that try to shame you into having the most lackluster but low-cal T-Day dinner possible. Only eat the white meat and throw away the skin! Topping your yams with marshmallows is like covering them with puffy death! Once, when I was a teenager, my dad was dating an anorexic woman who served dried-out chicken breasts, mashed potatoes made only with skim milk and salad with no dressing. That was it. Afterward my sister and I went to Taco Bell—it was the most depressing Thanksgiving ever. While it’s true that gorging yourself on fatty/creamy/sugar-frosted/white-flour-heavy foods is not the best idea for your gastrointestinal tract, there are ways you can make pigging out this one day of the year a little less painful on the waistline by taking action before the big event—the IE Weekly tells you how.

The theory here is that there are 3,500 calories in a pound. You have to eat that many calories in excess in order to gain a pound, or cut or burn that many calories in order to lose one. The following tips are designed to help you lose a pound over one week so that you have that pound to gain back at Thanksgiving if you so choose.

The first step is to go to a website like and figure out how many calories you need, considering the exercise you already get, to stay at your current weight. If you consider this number your base and then make the following adjustments, you should be able to drop around one pound by the time T-Day rolls around, giving you the opportunity to indulge in your favorite foods.


Indulgence—Nine-ounces of dark and white meat mixed, with the skin on, has about 600 calories.

Action—Run an extra two miles on three different days. 

Calories Burned—600


Indulgence—Three-fourths of a cup of homemade stuffing has about 300 calories. 

Action—Have the small fries instead of the large fries. 

Calories Saved—300


Indulgence—Half a cup of yams made with butter, pineapple and marshmallow topping has about 400 calories.

Action—Lift weights for 30 minutes on two different days. 

Calories Burned—400


Indulgence—One cup mashed potatoes and a half-cup of giblet gravy is about 420 calories.

Action—Instead of one cup of orange juice every day, eat an orange.

Calories Saved—420


Indulgence—Half a cup of green bean casserole with friend onions is about 240 calories.

Action—Play soccer for 40 minutes.

Calories Burned—240


Indulgence—Two medium biscuits with a tablespoon of butter have about 560 calories.

Action—Skip the cream and sugar in your coffee for the entire week.

Calories Saved—560


Indulgence—Half a cup of cranberry sauce has about 200 calories.

Action—Rake leaves, garden or dance for an hour.

Calories Burned—200


Indulgence—Two four-ounce glasses of wine have about 180 calories.

Action—This week skip your nightly glass of vino twice.

Calories Saved—180


Indulgence—One slice pumpkin pie (one-sixth of a nine-inch diameter pie) with a half-cup of real whipped cream has about 600 calories.

Action—Walk briskly for 30 minutes on three different days.

Calories Burned—600


That’s 3,500 calories you burned/saved. Of course, the smartest thing to do is eat a healthy breakfast Thanksgiving morning and then only have one small helping of each of your favorite foods. But if you do decide to binge, prepare yourself for cramps, heartburn and gas—just be truly thankful that Tums, Rolaids and Alka-Seltzer are relatively 


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