The burn before the feast

The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving – more than twice the recommended daily caloric intake.

Research by the Calorie Control Council found the average holiday dinner can carry 3,000 calories. Add the snacks and drinks before and after the main event, and the total calorie count climbs another 1,500 calories.

The typical Thanksgiving feast also comes with 229 grams of fat and with 45 percent of calories from fat, according to the council.

The good news? More and more people are burning calories before overloading on them.

Turkey trots, Thanksgiving morning boot camp classes and group bike rides are turning Thanksgiving into one of the biggest workout days of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

More running races are held on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, the Wall Street Journal found.

About 870,000 people ran in a turkey-day race in 2013 – a dramatic increase from the 100,000 who ran in races that day five years earlier, according to RunningUSA.

If you want to run off your entire Thanksgiving meal, however, better get up early.

A person weighing 150 pounds would have to run 9-minute-mile pace for six hours to burn 4,500 calories, according to the WebMD Fit-O-Meter. A one-hour run at that pace will burn 750 calories.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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