How To Navigate The Holiday Buffet Without Gaining Weight

How To Navigate The Holiday Buffet Without Gaining Weight

Studies show the average American gains between one and five pounds over the holidays. It may not be the end of the world, but it still doesn’t make it any easier getting back into healthy habits in January. Before you swear off holiday meals, simply consider how you’re filling your plate. We’ve rounded up the nutritional value of a dozen holiday foods, from seasonal candy to main dishes, that will allow you to indulge in the things you want, and fill the rest of your plate with healthier options.

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    PHOTO: Smneedham

    Party Snacks

    Eat: Shrimp cocktail
    Ten shrimp with cocktail sauce only has 120 calories and less than a gram of fat.

    Avoid: Mixed nuts
    One cup of mixed nuts has a shocking 814 calories and 70 grams of fat.

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    Seasonal Candy

    Eat: Candy Canes
    One candy cane has 60 calories and no fat—and will take you much longer to eat than most holiday candy.

    Avoid: Peanut Brittle
    One ounce of peanut brittle has 138 calories and 5 grams of fat.

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    PHOTO: Simon Murrell

    Party Drinks

    Drink: Champagne or light beer
    The average flute of bubbly has 80 calories and no fat, while a bottle of light beer has just over 100 calories and no fat.

    Avoid: Eggnog and creamy martinis
    If you must partake, limit it to one serving: eggnog has an average of 344 calories and 19 grams of fat per glass! Dessert cocktails like chocolate martinis pack around 400 calories and 20 grams of fat.

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    PHOTO: Jeff Kauck

    Side Dishes

    Eat: Roasted vegetables
    A cup of root vegetables—sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, beets—prepared with canola oil and salt only has around 100 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

    Avoid: Mashed potatoes
    A cup of mashed potatoes made with whole milk and margarine has, on average, 237 calories and 9 grams of fat.

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    PHOTO: Tetra Images

    Holiday Dinner

    Eat: Honey-glazed ham
    Eight ounces of honey-glazed ham has about 400 calories, but only packs 2.6 grams of fat.

    Avoid: Prime rib
    The same portion of prime rib can have 570 calories and a whopping 45 grams of fat.

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    Dessert

    Eat: Pumpkin pie
    A slice of homemade pumpkin pie has about 300 calories and 14 grams of fat.

    Avoid: Pecan Pie
    The same size slice of pecan pie has 500 calories and 27 grams of fat.

EXPLORE: Diet, Holiday Eating, Food
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