From the dinner table to the treadmill: how many steps to burn off Thanksgiving dinner?

LIMA — Everybody associates turkey with Thanksgiving. 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Americans eat a lot of turkey — 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas and 19 million turkeys on Easter.

However, if the oven-baked or deep fried turkey appears as the main course on the Thanksgiving dining table, what about the dishes that surround it? Everyone has their favorites. BetOhio.com analyzed Google searches of Thanksgiving sides from across Ohio last November to answer the burning question: What side dishes are broadly favored by Ohioans?

Stuffing was the first choice with 24% of those surveyed, followed closely by macaroni and cheese at 23%. Mashed potatoes and green bean casserole tied for third at 20 %. Sweet potato casserole was chosen in the fifth spot with 13% of those surveyed selecting the orange root vegetable.

Many Americans will spend much of Thanksgiving’s quality time together in the kitchen or dining room—preparing and sharing a seasonal feast of gratitude. It’s great to treat yourself on special occasions, so don’t worry about counting calories. KURU Footwear has calculated how many steps you would need to “walk off” the extra calories consumed on Thanksgiving.

So how much walking would you need to do to burn off the extra calories from each dish? If you wanted to walk off your entire Thanksgiving meal, it’d take a staggering 76,397 to do it. The number of steps in a mile varies by person, but using an average 2 miles for every 5,000 steps that would be more than 30 miles of walking!

KURU Footwear used Google Trends to determine the most popular Thanksgiving dishes in 2021, and paired that information with serving size and calorie estimates from the Calorie Control Council.

Then the Omni Calculator’s Steps to Calories tool was used to determine how many steps it would take to “burn” the calories for each dish. These calculations were made using average body measurements as reported by the CDC. Different people have varying nutrition needs, but 2,000 calories in a day is a general baseline. The average American could consume more like 3,408 calories on Turkey day. That’s 170% more than the recommended amount.

The top-10 Thanksgiving dishes that’d take the most steps to walk off: 1. Stuffing (7,958 steps); 2. Cranberry/Walnut Salad (7,801 steps); 3. Pumpkin Pie (7,241 steps); 4. Sweet Potato Casserole (6,187 steps); 5. Cheese Ball (5,515 steps); 6. Mashed Potatoes (5,335 steps); 7. Cranberry Sauce (4,685 steps); 8. Roasted Turkey (4,259 steps); 9. Giblet Gravy (3,990 steps) 10. Crackers (3,968 steps).

There are ways to lose those calories. Senior Citizens’ Services are having the Turkey Trot Challenge on Friday the day after Thanksgiving. There are three different challenges that need to be completed. Challenge one: Do a total of 5 laps down and back in the pool. The second challenge: Do a plank for 30 seconds. The third challenge: Do 10 pulling reps, 10 pushing reps and 10 minutes of cardio. Each challenge has its own drawing for a prize.

Anytime Fitness offers five suggestions on its website for feeling like yourself after the Thanksgiving revelry.

1. Quench Your Thirst — Staying hydrated is always important, especially after the holiday break. Water delivers nutrients to cells, helps your body get rid of waste and even aids in digestion. Every part of your body relies on water to function properly. As part of your post-holiday recovery, make sure you’re sipping water throughout the day to help your body reset.

2. Eat Your Veggies — It can be tempting to limit your food intake after enjoying a large holiday meal. But don’t restrict yourself or eat less than you did pre-holiday feasting; your body still needs fuel. Instead of skipping meals, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that will help your body perform its natural detox duties.

Your kidneys and liver, in particular, do the heavy lifting when it comes to removing waste from your body, so eat foods that are rich in the vitamins your organs need to do their job, including root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions; broccoli, beans, nuts and seeds; leafy greens; and lean proteins like fish and chicken.

3. Get Moving (Slowly) — While you may be feeling sluggish, it’s still important to get up and get moving. A few minutes of movement every day will do the trick. Start with a 20-minute walk. It can not only increase your energy levels, but it can also improve your mood, memory, and sleep. If you’re not going to work out, stretching is a great way to refresh and re-energize, as well as to improve your blood circulation and relieve muscle tension and fatigue that may have built up over the holidays.

4. Take Time to Slow Down — Don’t forget to let your mind recover, too. The holidays can be emotional for some. If you’re in a post-festivity funk, practicing mindfulness can help you get back on track. Start with a simple breathing exercise. In a comfortable position, breathe gently into your nose and out your mouth and slowly relax your muscles. Count to five as you breathe in, and count to five as you breathe out. Do this for five minutes or longer, if you need some extra serenity.

If words are your thing, journal it out! Grab a notebook, reflect on what happened over the holidays, and write down the feelings that come to mind, letting go of the thoughts that don’t lift you up. Bye-bye, negativity!

5. Get Some Z’s — Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Sleep in a dark, cool, and quiet room and avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed. Seven to nine hours of slumber helps restore your immune system, relieve stress, and boost your mood and energy levels.

Dean Brown joined The Lima News in 2022 as a reporter. Prior to The Lima News, Brown was an English teacher in Allen County for 38 years, with stops at Perry, Shawnee, Spencerville and Heir Force Community School. So they figured he could throw a few sentences together about education and business in the area. An award-winning photographer, Brown likes watching old black and white movies, his dog, his wife and kids, and the four grandkids - not necessarily in that order. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0409.