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Keeping the holiday healthy

Get some exercise counteract Thanksgiving feast you'll be enjoying today.  |  FILE PHOTO

Get some exercise in to counteract the Thanksgiving feast you'll be enjoying today. | FILE PHOTO

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Working off the feast could take a whole lot of time

Food Amount Calories per serving Exercise Time

Turkey 6 ounces (a few slices) 350 Elliptical 40 minutes

Stuffing 1 cup 350 Yoga 2 hours

Roll + butter 1 90 Pilates 40

Mashed potatoes + gravy 1 cup mixed 300 Wash dishes and actively play with kids one hour

Pumpkin pie/pecan pie with whipped cream 1 slice/1 dollop 180-300

Walking 2 hours of vigorous walking at 3.5 mph or 1 hour of jogging at 5.0 mph. If you want to walk leisurely, plan on about 4-5 hours.

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Updated: November 27, 2013 4:57PM

When it comes to calorie-counting for Turkey Day, you certainly could eat less, but who’s really, actually, going to do that?

Here’s a better idea: Burn off a pound or two by hand washing the meal’s pots and pans or playing hide-and-seek with the kids. Scrubbing cranberry sauce off a plate or playing tag in the backyard won’t completely offset the average 4,500-calorie Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s a start.

According to New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ian K. Smith (you’ve seen the Chicago resident on Emmy-winning daytime talk show “The Doctors” plus his newest diet book, “Super Shred: The Big Results Diet,” is due out on New Year’s Eve), here’s the skinny on what else the average 160-pound guy or gal can do to keep the pounds in check.

1. Six ounces — or a few slices — of turkey will cost you 350 calories. Pay it back with 40 minutes on the elliptical machine.

2. One cup of dressing or stuffing could ping you 350 calories. Ditch the calories after dinner by stretching and bending for two hours of yoga per serving.

3. Your average dinner roll plus a pat of butter is 90 calories. Keep it to one piece of bread and a diminutive slice of butter and you only need to sign up for one 40-minute Pilates class.

4. One cup of mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy can average 300 calories, but the count could increase depending upon how you make your gravy (whole milk, flour and bacon juice, anyone)? Offset that by playing with the kids after dinner. Active play. Not passive.

5. A single, conservative slice of pumpkin or pecan pie (1/8th of a nine-inch pie) with a dollop of whipped cream can run you about 180 calories. (If you go for a really large piece, it could add up to 300 calories.) Burn off that diminutive slice with a vigorous, two-hour walk or a one-hour jog at around five miles per hour. Can’t move that fast? Then you’re in for a four- to five-hour leisurely stroll.

6. Want to get a head start? Before your guests arrive, burn around 40 calories in 10 minutes by raking leaves.

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