Count your blessings this Thanksgiving-- not your calories

Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful, but it also has a reputation for delivering a few extra pounds. However, your Thanksgiving feast doesn’t seem so gluttonous when compared to another American tradition: the backyard barbeque. 

Whether it’s Fourth of July or just a summer weekend with some friends, Americans fire up the grill and pile on their plates just as much then as they do on Thanksgiving -- if not more. 

For starters, turkey is healthier than cheeseburgers. Turkey breast without the skin is healthiest, but you could have dark meat with the skin and it would be less calories than your cheeseburger-- even when you add gravy on top. 

That biscuit with butter you’re feeling guilty about having is no worse than the chips and dip you ate when you first arrived at the barbeque. And let’s be honest, you had more than one serving of chips. You might have had a hot dog or another burger. So are you really going to feel guilty about some stuffing? And by the way, the mashed potatoes are healthier for you than the potato salad you ate. 

The biggest calories, from any party or dinner, come from the drinks-- both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Each serving is between 100-200 calories, and can add up over the holiday fun. 

However, Thanksgiving can hardly be blamed for that alone. You probably imbibed just as much (if not more) this summer, or at a Super Bowl party this past year. 

You’re probably wondering, “But what about dessert?” Maybe you’re feeling guilty about eating too much Halloween candy that eating pie one month later is something shameful. Pie is just as rich, and in some cases healthier than the cake or cookies you munched on at other soirees. 

If you still have a heavy calorie conscience, go with the pumpkin pie. It has the least amount of calories than other traditional desserts. Some of us have health risks, so it’s perfectly acceptable to skip dessert or have a really small portion. Portion control and not going back for second helpings are the keys to a healthy yet decadent Thanksgiving. 

This Thanksgiving, count your blessings instead of your calories because there is love in each dish. Unlike the hotdogs and hamburgers you stuffed your face with this summer, these are recipes passed down through generations. 

The tastes you’ve missed since your family was all together. The smells that reminds you of when you were younger. It only happens once a year, and Thanksgiving is a perfect time of the year to eat guilt-free. Enjoy!

Watch the video to see how Thanksgiving calories stack up against other feasts.