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Thanksgiving leftovers: How many calories are in a typical meal of holiday leftovers

A typical holiday dinner of mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing can carry a load of 3,000 calories — 1,000 more than the daily recommended intake for most people.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Thanksgiving is over. Tables are quieter and bellies are stuffed with all sorts of delicious fixings. And most importantly of all, fridges are filled with all kinds of leftovers.

On average, experts say that a typical holiday dinner can carry around 3,000 calories. The daily recommended intake for most people is only 2,000 calories, so the holidays can cause people to splurge a bit and eat more than they usually would.

Turkey does not usually carry many calories — 3.5 ounces of white is only around 175 calories. That's around the same number of calories as a pack of peanut-butter crackers.

However, a cup of mashed potatoes can have around 240 calories, especially if the potatoes are slathered with gravy or butter. However, diners can forego the toppings to cut down on the number of calories.

A serving of holiday stuffing can have nearly 400 calories though, along with a lot of sodium. 

To avoid weight gain during the holidays, experts also recommend staying active. The more that people move, the faster their bodies can burn up extra calories. It can also help people create healthy habits and start regularly exercising. It can be especially helpful for people trying to lose weight while also eating leftovers for their meals.

Or, families can just focus on being merry and eating whatever they want over the holidays. As long as it's not a daily habit, indulging in some extra servings of stuffing and mashed potatoes is nothing to be ashamed about — especially if it makes you happier!