The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. To put it another way, that’s more than double our daily recommended caloric intake according to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who say that the average woman only requires 1500 calories per day and the average man only needs 2,000 calories per day.

Now before you roll your eyes and wonder who invited Debby Downer to Jack FM, I’m not here to ruin your holiday splendor. I’m just here with a strategic plan of what menu items you should focus your cals on this Thanksgiving and to provide you with some alternative options that may make more sense. I’m no nutritionist, but I think you’ll find my recommendations to be very helpful.

Stuffing -- SKIP

Stuffing is Yummly/Facebook

1 cup = 352 calories

Most people also add gravy, which has approximately 50 calories per 1/4 cup and could bump you up to 400 calories for a simple side dish. I say skip the stuffing.

Alternative Suggestion: A glass of Merlot only has about 122 calories.

Cranberry Sauce -- SKIP

Canned Cranberry Sauce/Facebook

Two half-inch slices = 172 calories

Who even likes cranberry sauce? Isn't it an incredibly confusing food? If you’re going to waste 172 calories on something you don’t even get to really chew, you might as well go with my secondary option.

Alternative Suggestion:  A 12 oz. bottle of Corona Light only has 109 calories.

Green Bean Casserole -- SKIP

Green Bean Casserole/Facebook

1 cup = 142 calories

Do you really want to waste 142 calories on a vegetable? I didn't think so.

Alternative Suggestion: A glass of Pinot Noir only has 122 calories.

Dinner Rolls -- SKIP

Thanksgiving is Yummly/Facebook

1 Pillsbury Traditional Dinner Roll = 110 calories

This isn't terribly awful, but considering that you’ll probably lather on the butter, you’ll be bumped up to at least 150 calories (maybe more). To be safe, you should probably just go with my alternative suggestion.

Alternative Suggestion: A shot of 80 proof whiskey only has 64 calories (you can have five!).

Mashed Potatoes -- SKIP

Thanksgiving is Yummly/Facebook

1 cup = 237 calories

If most of us are honest with ourselves, then you know you probably have more than one cup of this stuff, plus gravy. To save on calories, you can try using skim milk and cutting out butter, or simply go with my alternative suggestion.

Alternative Suggestion: A 12 oz. Sam Adams Boston Lager only has 160 calories.

Turkey – SKIP

Thanksgiving is Yummly/Facebook

4 oz. white meat, no skin = 158 calories

Of course I can’t forget the turkey. Turkey has a few redeeming qualities like protein and healthy vitamins. But, 4 oz. isn’t very much – it’s about the size of your palm, which means you probably have at least two servings, plus gravy, on the big day. This could bump you up to 400-plus calories. Personally, I think there’s a better way to spend those calories.

Alternative Suggestion: There are only 219 calories in a dirty vodka martini! A good bang for your buck because you will most likely throw this up later, which means zero calories.

Pie (Includes Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan) -- DON’T SKIP!

pumpkin pie is yummly/Facebook

I did extensive research and found that pie does NOT contain calories on Thanksgiving Day. So go ahead and help yourself to as much pie as you’d like. But, please be aware that any added ice cream or whipped cream will count.

Alternative Suggestion: Since you aren't gaining any calories from pie, you might as well reward yourself with an after-dinner glass of Disaronno Amaretto; at only 110 calories per ounce, you can have 8 ounces!

By simply skipping those high-calorie menu items and following my alternative suggestions, not only will the holiday be, like, way more fun for you, but you will stay in the range of your calorie goal for the day. Here is the breakdown:

1 Glass Merlot – 122 Calories
1 12 oz. Bottle Corona Light – 109 Calories
1 Glass Pinot Noir – 122 Calories
5 Shots 80 Proof Whiskey – 320 Calories
1 12 oz. Bottle Sam Adams Boston Lager – 160 Calories
1 Dirty Vodka Martini – 219 Calories
8 oz. Disaronno Amaretto – 880 Calories

= Total Amount of 1,777 calories