How Many Calories are in Christmas Dinner?

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It’s the season for thinning wallets and thickening waistlines.  Christmas and New Year often represent a bit of a black spot in the diet plans of slimmers and non-dieters alike.  With so much delicious food being offered, it can be easy to forget that it all piles on the pounds.  As the old saying goes – “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  So, what can you be expecting to add to your hips this year when sitting down to dine?

Roast Turkey Calories

Lets start with the centrepiece of the main event, the roast turkey.  Whether you love it or hate it, having a 100 gram average serving will gain you about 189 calories which will vary a little depending on which part of the bird you eat.  This is only for the bird without skin – if the skin is included it will inevitably eat more. 

But since not everyone likes turkey, here are the comparisons for its most common rivals. 

Calories per 100 gram serving (Roasted)

  • Pork: 230
  • Beef:  341
  • Chicken: 197
  • Lamb: 276

Stuffing Calories

The turkey never goes hungry at Christmas, he’s always stuffed.  So goes the inevitable Christmas cracker joke.  And you will be too, at an average of 170 calories per 100 grams of stuffing which will vary by brand or if it is home made.

Roast Potato Calories

The essential side to any roast dish, roast potatoes done well are crispy and utterly delicious.  From a dieticians point of view, they’re also totally loaded with carbohydrates.  So something to be aware of when reaching for a second helping. 

On average, Roast Potatoes have 150 calories in them per 100g serving.  However, given the special time of year many people may choose to baste their roast vegetables in goose fat or the like which will add both to the taste and the calorie count.

Brussel Sprouts Calories

Either the favourite thing on a person’s plate or the most loathed, the little green balls at least make up for their flavour by being fairly low in calories.  A 100 gram serving nets on average only about 43 calories. 


A delicious coating of meat sauce that helps moisten the rest of the meal.   The amount of calories will vary depending on the ratio of water to stock or granules depending on how it is made. For comparisons sake, a 100 gram portion of canned turkey gravy would add 79 calories to your meal.

Christmas Pudding

Following the meal it’s almost traditional to enjoy a helping of Christmas pudding.  An example might be the Tesco Finest Christmas pudding, which will add 295 calories to your meal for a 100g serving.

Your Calorie Bill – Counting the Cost

Adding up the numbers assuming a 100 gram serving of everything on the table you get:

  • Turkey: 189 Calories
  • Stuffing: 170 Calories
  • Potatoes: 150 Calories
  • Brussel Sprouts: 43 Calories
  • Gravy: 79 Calories
  • Total:  631 Calories

This will vary depending on how exactly you cook it and we only include the bare essentials of a Christmas dinner here.  Adding carrots, parsnips, mash, pigs in blankets or other festive fare will only push up the calorie count and many sugary and alcoholic drinks themselves have significant calorie counts.  And let’s not even begin to consider having second portions…

A Lesson in Calorie Counting

If you enjoy calorie counting and want to know more about nutrition and the way food impacts the human body, you might be interested in one of our online nutrition courses.  Whether you want to feed athletes, children, man or beast, we’ve a range of courses that will introduce you to this fascinating subject. 

You really are what you eat.  Learn how and why – Nutrition, from ADL.


United States Department of Agriculture



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