10 Sneaky Ways You Burn Calories on Thanksgiving

Elizabeth Narins
Cosmopolitan
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Yes, Thanksgiving leaves you so. Freaking. Full. It's a holiday that revolves around eating, after all.

But it's not *just* about calories going in. Here are some ways you burn calories without even knowing it. (You're welcome, now go proceed to the couch.)

1. Yogic Stretching

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

So what if you’re only doing it to boost digestion after grossly overeating? It’s not a bad idea and can actually make you feel better faster so long as you choose a gentle flow that won't make you vomit. (Burns 149 calories in 30 minutes.)

2. Walking Your Dog

Assuming you’re keeping up a brisk pace because November = winter and no one wants to take their sweet-ass time lingering in the cold, this can cancel out the mashed potatoes you couldn’t help but sample in the kitchen before serving. (Burns 167 calories in 30 minutes.)

3. Sleeping

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Sure, you might *think* you're doing nothing but dreaming of that second round of dessert. But your body is still hard at work digesting round one, oxygenating your blood, making your heart beat, and repairing torn muscles (perhaps the abdominal muscles you stretched beyond their max by overeating?) (Burns 23 calories in 30 minutes.)

4. Watching TV

The good news is that the televised parades can last hours. That multiplies your calorie burn! 💪 (Burns 28 calories in 30 minutes.)

5. Reading

Curling up in your favorite chair to read is more productive than sleeping, at least so far as calorie-burning is concerned (maybe it's because you have to hold a book and turn pages?). The fact that Instagram deterred you from actually opening your book is neither here nor there. (Burns 42 calories in 30 minutes.)

6. Cooking

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Just assume you're burning even more calories if you’re in charge of carving The Bird, hand-mashing potatoes, or rolling dough. (And skip the gym tomorrow - you earned it!) (Burns 93 calories in 30 minutes.)

7. Playing With Your Little Cousins

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Who knew that letting your youngest Thanksgiving guests beat you at board games could torch almost as many calories as putting one foot in front of the other?! Thank god you burn 149 calories per 30 minutes of play, which should cancel out the wine calories you’ll have to drink because family time. (Burns 149 calories in 30 minutes.)

8. Rearranging Chairs to Squeeze Everyone and Their Mom Around a Table That Is Clearly Too Small

Lift the chairs instead of pushing them to work those biceps. (Burns 223 calories in 30 minutes.)

9. Cleaning, Because “YOUR GRANDMOTHER WILL BE HERE ANY MINUTE!!!”

At this rate, it could actually pay to spend more time dusting and less time at the gym. (Burns 167 calories in 30 minutes.)

Photo credit: TBS
Photo credit: TBS

10. Pretending You Have To Check Work Email But Actually Scrolling Through Facebook

Two new things to be thankful for: 1. Your boss isn't *actually* evil enough to require your response on Thanksgiving. 2. Screen time isn't a useless waste of time after all. (Burns 51 calories in 30 minutes.)

*All calorie counts are rough estimates based on a 155-pound woman’s 30-minute expenditure according to Health.harvard.edu. You’ll burn a bit less if you weigh less, and burn a bit more if you weigh more.

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