On Thursday, you are going to dislodge your jaw with the rest of the American population and ingest somewhere between 2,500 to 4,500 calories in a single meal, not to mention the leftovers you’ll eat in the days following. For the editors of The Sporting Blog, this will only get worse, because most of us like to drink, and not in that namby-pamby, "oh just a glass for heart health" kind of way, either. I'm going to have somewhere around 10 drinks throughout the day tomorrow, because it's a holiday, and because I weigh 200 pounds and have a decent tolerance. Some of us are going to have far, far more than that. (COUGH COUGH Chris Mottram COUGH.)
Calorically, it's a disaster. Tacking on peripherals like booze and handfuls of stuffing crammed into your mouth while no one's looking, I'm conservatively looking at 5,500 calories tomorrow, or enough energy to power my house for a week of average activity. Balancing this out is going to be a mother, but we're here to help, or at least show you how improbable your escape from a dietary holocaust is going to be.
To burn off the calories you'll inhale tomorrow, you can:
Run an ultra-marathon. In order to just balance out the damage we're going to inflict tomorrow, we would have to run five-and-a-half hours at a casual 7 MPH pace to cleanly exchange the calories for effort, covering a distance of somewhere around 39 miles in the process. This should feel even better with two pounds of turkey breast and pork tenderloin floating in your gut. You can also box for five-and-a-half hours straight, too, as they're comparable, though being punched in the stomach under these conditions may result in a spectacular but nauseating disqualification.
Play cricket. For 25-and-a-half hours, or roughly half the length of a standard cricket match.
Play kickball. For nine hours of hard play, you can call yourself even on the day. Everyone will still think you are douchebag for playing kickball, but you'll be a calorie-neutral 'bag, and that should count for something.
Darts. 25-and-a-half hours of darts may sound doable at 216 calories an hour, but consider that to play darts competently you have to be half-drunk, meaning you're creating a deficit situation by playing darts, and then consuming enough beer to remain dart-competent, and then needing to play more darts, and ... well, you see where this is going. You'll be playing darts forever, and ... that doesn't sound half-bad, actually. Can we get paid for doing this? Really? Sign us up, then.
Cross-country skiing uphill at maximum effort. At 3.9 hours of effort to burn off all the calories, this is second only to running a 5.5 minute mile for 3.7 hours for economy on this list. Either one will likely kill you after a meal like that, but at least with cross-country skiing your body will be preserved on ice for the rangers to find. Fall out in the middle of a dead sprint while running and you're wolf food in some parts of this fine country of ours. ("Some parts" = "suburban Pittsburgh or urban Detroit.")
Walking on crutches. 16 hours of effort on crutches may sound excessive, but not when you'll probably be stricken with gout after Thursday anyway and will be unable to walk without them. Lemonade from lemons, we say.
You can factor in a 10-to-20 percent loss in total calories, too, as you will likely vomit a good portion of your feast in doing any of these. Enjoy your corpulence, America.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.