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How Many Miles You’d Have to Run to Burn Off Those Thanksgiving Eats

BurnOff...A change of season is often accompanied by a change of food. I’m not a donut girl, but when that first chill hits the air and the leaves begin to fall, suddenly I find myself craving a donut with apple cider. And a pumpkin beer. Ah, yes, autumn and Thanksgiving are hard on my diet, to be sure.

As you know, here at FBG we’re all about moderation. There’s nothing wrong with a donut or a festive drink once in a while, after all, but it’s important to understand exactly how these seasonal indulgences affect our diets. Sure, I can tell you all about the calories in your favorite fall foods, but I have a better idea—let’s look at how far you’d have to run to burn those turkey day calories!

A cup of apple cider isn’t too bad—to burn off a cup of Treetop brand apple cider, you’d need to go just over a mile. To burn off the calories in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut though, you’d need to run 1.8 miles. Neither is so bad alone, but together, that’s close to a 5k, just for a little snack!

Of course, there are plenty of other fall favorites to consider. You’ve got your turkey leg and thigh, which with skin equates to 1.8 miles, with mashed potatoes and gravy (4.4 oz from Boston Market) just below that at 1.7 miles. It’s the sweet potato casserole though that’ll really get you—a 7 oz serving from Boston Market will take 4.2 miles to burn off, and that’s before you add on the mulled wine (1.1 miles), pumpkin pie (2.9 miles) and pecan pie (a whopping 4.6 miles)!

How Far You’d Have to Run to Burn Off…

Apple cider: 1 c Treetop brand = 120 cal = 11 min = 1.1 miles

Glazed Donut: 1 Krispy Kreme = 200 cal = 18 min =  1.8 miles

Pumpkin Pie: 1 piece  = 316 cal = 29 min = 2.9 miles (or try this healthier version for only a 1.1 mile run!)

Turkey Leg: 1 leg and thigh with skin = 192 cal = 17.5 min = 1.8 miles

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: Boston Market 4.4 oz = 190 cal = 17 min = 1.7 miles

Mulled Wine: 3.4 oz = 118 cal = 11 min =  1.1 miles

Sweet Potato Casserole: Boston Market 7 oz = 460 cal = 42 min = 4.2 miles

Pecan Pie: 1 slice from recipe = 503 cal = 46 min = 4.6 miles

Does seeing the sweat equity of these foods make you less likely to indulge? Does it make you consider adding an extra mile to your running workout? Or are you okay with letting your diet go a little bit when the right foods come along? Tell us all about it in the comments! —Kristen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Stephanie says:

    If I add that stuff together (and throw in the stuffing) I’m gonna have to run a LOT further than the 10K I’ve signed up for!

    For the most part I just accept Thanksgiving dinner as one of the bigger meals in my life. This year I’m going to try and keep it reasonable quantity-wise, and really stick to the stuff I like best (and wouldn’t necessarily be able to have all the time).

    But this sure helps motivate me to go out for a run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well this weekend!

  2. Nicole says:

    Life is short – I’m okay with indulging on occasion. It’s not like it’s an every day thing. =)

  3. MarthaB says:

    Thinking like this seems like “exercise bulimia”. As long as you make smart choices leading up to this you should have no problem.

  4. Stacey says:

    Thanks for this! I think it’s important to know exactly how quickly calories can add up and what it really takes to burn them off. Especially since this is the time of year for unwanted weight gain. I passed it on to my peeps as an encouragement to sign up for that Turkey Trot!

  5. Nicole says:

    One bad meal won’t make you fat!

    I watch what I eat all the time along with doing CrossFit and running 6 times a week. I plan on running a 10k the morning of Thanksgiving just so I don’t feel so bad when I over indulge with delicious carbs and lots and lots of beer : ) I will probably run on Friday as well just to make myself feel a little better but I know I am going to do some damage on Thanksgiving and I am ok with that!

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