The Shocking Number Of Calories The Average American Eats On Thanksgiving

T-minus two weeks until Thanksgiving Day: Are you ready? Have you ordered your juicy heritage-breed turkey? Do you have a working meat thermometer? Are your roasting pans, casserole dishes, and pie plates ready to go? Is your freezer stocked with cranberries for the sauce and butter for all the desserts? And perhaps most importantly, do you own a pair of loose, comfortable sweatpants for the post-meal aftermath?

Anyone that has sat down to a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal knows that the word "excess" doesn't even come close to describing this several-hours-long endeavor. Even champion eaters might find themselves out of their league on a holiday that presents a seemingly endless parade of dishes, featuring not just a hefty turkey but also a myriad of appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. As you may have guessed, Thanksgiving, for most Americans, is the single most calorie-heavy day of the entire year, surpassing Easter, the 4th of July, and Christmas (via The Daily Meal). So just how many calories should you expect to take in during the big feast? 

Your Thanksgiving meal might contain a whopping 3,000 calories

It's Thanksgiving Day and you're sitting down to a table loaded with turkey, stuffing, marshmallow-topped yams, green bean casserole, cornbread, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and probably a fair amount of wine and beer. And like any food lover worth their salt, you plan to indulge in every bit of it. We've all experienced the post-Thanksgiving food coma, but the question is, exactly how many calories do we consume over the course of the holiday meal? The answer might surprise you. 

According to USA Today, the grand total ends up being more than 3,000 calories and 150 grams of fat — equal to six McDonald's Big Macs, 12 servings of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, or 14 Krispy Kreme donuts. And while for us that delicious intake of calories is certainly worth it, there's no denying that the exercise involved to burn them all off is quite the challenge, indeed. "A 160 pound person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal," Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise, told USA Today. We'll map out our Thanksgiving recovery plan later. For now, excuse us while we continue bookmarking all the recipes we want to whip up for the big day.