Wow, the holidays are just rolling by quickly. Shortly, Christmas will be here and if it is a holiday that you celebrate you will have a joyous time. We know how hard it is to keep your focus on your fitness program with all the requirements of your time. There have been studies that show approximately 10 pounds of weight are gained from November to December 31st and then that is when the New Years Resolutions come out. Why do you have to set a resolution to lose weight? Here is a better idea, find ways to control your nutrition and weight during the holidays. You can always make smart choices in the foods that you choose to consume.
We do not expect you to go on a weight loss diet but keep in mind that you can still be health conscious during this time. The traditional feast is arguably the heaviest, most indulgent meal we’ll be eating all year. The traditional meal of turkey, dressing, rolls, candied sweet potatoes, candied yams, and whipped cream covered pie contains a whopping 2,200 calories or more, and that’s more calories than an average-sized woman with a sedentary lifestyle burns in a typical day.
If you’re concerned about your weight, you can try to make some smart choices and substitutions to curb the caloric excess without sacrificing the satisfaction of the Christmas feast. Here are some examples of smart Christmas food choices that won’t leave you feeling deprived:
If you’re having appetizers, offer vegetables with low-fat dip instead of cheeses and crackers. With the rich meal to follow, you won’t feel deprived. Offer fruit slices or fruit skewers that have pineapple, orange, kiwi, and mango chunks.
Choose white meat. A 6-ounce portion (about the size of a deck of cards) of white meat turkey without skin has 230 calories, while a mixed portion of white and dark meat with skin has about 345 calories. According to the USDA, 6-ounces of ham has 230 calories with 120 calories coming from fat alone. A 6-ounce portion of roast beef contains 580 calories with 160 calories coming from fat. It make more sense to eat more nutrient dense foods than to eat high fat foods.
Limit rolls and butter. An average roll has 80-85 calories. Add butter, and you’re eating 120 calories instead. If you’re preparing the stuffing, omit some of the fat. A rich, buttery stuffing with sausage can top out at 500 calories per cup. Suggestions for fat reduction include omitting sausage or meats and replacing some of the butter or oil with low-fat products. A cup of low-fat stuffing contains only 125 calories.
Eat steamed rather than buttered vegetables. Buttered vegetables have about twice as many calories per cup as steamed vegetables. Even cutting back on the amount of butter you use on vegetables can be significant. Remember that every tablespoon of butter adds about 100 calories to a dish. Lemon juice or low-fat salad dressings are alternative ways to top vegetables if you’re craving a sauce.
Avoid eggnog. A cup of eggnog at 340 calories is a calorically dense beverage. Try a glass of white wine or champagne which is about 160 calories instead, or have a juice and mineral water spritzer and conserve your calorie consumption for the main meal.
Finally, enjoy that pumpkin pie. A piece of pumpkin pie has about 175 calories, while a comparable slice of pecan pie has 495 calories.
These healthy choices will help you fight the battle of the bulge. You will not feel that stuffed , bloated, food-coma sensation if you eat lighter less fat and calorie dense meals. You will be able enjoy the holiday feast without the aftermath. You need so more motivation to watch your eating give us a call at 855-734-4878 and we will give you more tips on how to control the calories.
Smart Indulgences for Christmas- Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, William C. Shiel Jr., MD, Dennis Lee, MD
United States Department of Agriculture