Tis the season…to get fat that is! I’m sorry but it’s true. I’d take a guess that millions of Americans will gain at least 10 pounds this holiday season. Everywhere you go there are cookies and cakes and meals made with more sugar, oil and butter than in a big old pound cake. Temptation is everywhere!
And lets get real – you KNOW what to eat, what to taste and what to skip altogether. So today we’re refreshing an old list of some favorite holiday dishes and treats that are pure calorie bombs – but it’s really just a small sampling of just how bad holiday food could be. I wanted to open your eyes to just how many calories are in some of these classic recipes.
With that said, enjoy yourself! Remember – nobody gets fat in one day and surely one loaded meal won’t hurt you. BUT when you’re done, you’re done. Don’t let one or two days of family dinners and parties snowball into a whole week’s worth (or more!) of bad choices. Got it?
Top 10: BIGGEST HOLIDAY DIET DANGERS
1. Eggnog – I consider this holiday icon the worst of them all because you can always drink more calories than you can eat. Coming in at almost 350 calories for just 8 ounces, of which HALF is pure fat, this stuff is a liquid artery clogger. If you like the flavor, get some eggnog flavored coffee or tea. They have no calories and while it’s not exactly the same, your belly will thank you.
2. Cheese Breadsticks – This is a favorite of mine that I love to dip in the gravy at Thanksgiving. But beware they can be up to 250 calories each and be almost half fat! Two grilled cheese sandwiches have less calories and fat than two of these bad boys!
3. Candied Yams – These are by far my all time favorite, especially when they are prepared with marshmallow and brown sugar! But of course they are terrible nutritionally, with a minimum of 300 calories per ¾ cup serving, consisting of pure sugar and saturated fat, so the calories really add up. And who eats just one serving? No one I know.
4. Potato Latkes – Why does the good stuff always have to be so bad? Let’s see, potato, butter, egg yolks, cheese, and sour cream it can’t be good. One small pancake is over 250 calories and has 18 grams of fat. That’s the same amount of fat in 16 plain Hershey’s kisses.
5. Stuffing – You didn’t think I’d miss this did you? Traditionally cooked INSIDE your turkey, stuffing absorbs a lot of animal fat in addition to the grease and butter used in the ingredients. It’s like a fat sponge. How many calories and fat? How about if I said you could eat almost 2 Snickers bars for 1 cup of stuffing – Wow!
6. Apple Pie – I think some people are under the impression that fruit based desserts are healthier than other fruitless options – WRONG! Little old grandma’s dessert packs 550 calories and 32 choking grams of fat in each 1/8 pie slice. That’s almost 3 slices of pizza from a medium cheese pie. Grandma is sweet, but she’s a killer!
7. Meat Lasagna – I’m not sure how many of you have this for Thanksgiving, but I’ve been eating lasagna as the course BEFORE the turkey since I was 4. Ready, sit down for this – lasagna has 400 calories in just ¼ cup serving, which is a 3 x 3 piece. That’s without all the extra sauce and grated Parmesan cheese you add to it. And it has the same amount of fat as a 6oz. piece of fillet Mignon.
8. Stuffed Mushrooms – These little cute fungi stuffed with yummy stuff add about 100 calories to your belly each. I know I eat too many, but this year I’m limiting myself to just two, or the caloric equivalent of ¼ cup of my nemesis – ice cream.
9. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino – Tis the season and you’ll be seeing this concoction at coffee houses through New Years. But it should come with a free gym membership as the large size has 500 calories, 75 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of fat. You’d need to work out intensely for up to an hour to burn those calories.
10. Quiche – Most varieties pack quite a calorie punch due to butter and cheese being used in generous amounts. For about the same amount of calories in one slice, you can chow down on a six-inch chicken Parmesan grinder. And one slice provides more than an entire days worth of cholesterol.
Now you can see why so many people gain weight over the holidays. Most holiday foods, including many not listed here, are calorie dense and are so tasty it becomes very easy to overeat. To avoid the dreaded weight gain, be sure to taste everything but eat nothing! In my opinion you’ll feel much less deprived if you get a little sample of everything that’s being served rather than trying to exclude it all.
Also, another little trick I use is to eat lots of greens, salads, and vegetables if they’re available. Mixing them in with your food will create bulk without the addition of so many extra calories. And make sure to drink plenty of water as recent studies suggest that people who drink a cup before dinner ate less food.
I hope this list enlightened you a bit, and helps you to make some better decisions. If not, I can be reached here through the site for personal training! Happy Holidays.
What do you think of my list? Do you have other foods to add? Or a healthier recipe for any I’ve listed? Let me know.