HEALTHY LIVING
11/22/2011 08:42 am ET | Updated Nov 19, 2014

Your Guide To Perfect Thanksgiving Portion Sizes

G. Merrill via Getty Images

The average Thanksgiving dinner can set you back a whopping 4,500 calories -- more than double the amount you need in an entire day, according to the Calorie Control Council.

Not sure how to enjoy the day without wrecking havoc on your waistline? Keep calories in check without skipping your favorite festive eats with these tips from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Pick your dishes -- in the right portion size -- and then mix and match until they add up to a complete meal (MD Anderson suggests 500 calories for women and 700 calories for men).

  • Salad
    Image Source via Getty Images
    1 cup serving = about the size of a baseball

    Calories: 100-150, depending on the dressing
  • Turkey
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    3 ounce serving = about the size of a deck of cards

    Calories: about 132 for white meat
  • Gravy
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    1/4 cup serving = about the size of a golf ball

    Calories: about 30-50
  • Sweet Or Mashed Potatoes
    Iván Ramírez via Getty Images
    1/2 cup serving = about the size of a tennis ball cut in half

    Calories: about 145
  • Vegetables
    Michael Marquand via Getty Images
    1/2 cup serving = about the size of a rounded handful

    Calories: varies by veggie
  • Stuffing
    Tetra Images via Getty Images
    1/2 cup serving = about the standard size of an ice cream scoop

    Calories: about 180
  • Cornbread
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    1 medium muffin or square = about the size of a personal bar of soap

    Calories: about 175 (without butter)
  • Butter Or Margarine
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    1 teaspoon serving = about the size of 1 die

    Calories: about 36
  • Cranberry Sauce
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    1/4 cup serving = about the size of a golf ball

    Calories: about 105
  • Pie
    Jessica Wecker via Getty Images
    1/8 of a 9-inch pie = about the size of a standard light bulb

    Calories: about 323 for pumpkin, 456 for pecan

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