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.
How To Navigate The Holiday Buffet Without Gaining Weight
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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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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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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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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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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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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.