With the Holiday season here, dieters must make plans to ensure that they do not gain weight while taking part in Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities, which can be a nightmare for anyone trying to stay fit. In fact, the Calorie Control Council estimates that the typical American consumes 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. High calorie fare like iced cookies and eggnog don't make Christmas dining much friendlier, and according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, American adults gain, on average, one pound during the holiday season.
One pound may seem inconsequential, but the study revealed that most adults maintain the weight gain long-term. To avoid this unpleasant effect of holiday merrymaking, one must not only eat in moderation, but also know which foods to avoid. Read on to learn about the foods and drinks you should not be consuming during the holiday season, as well as the foods you can indulge in guilt-free.
Foods to Avoid
The worst holiday foods and drinks can spoil even the healthiest of diets with their high sugar, fat, and calorie content. Though some of them may seem relatively innocent, they contain more calories and grams of fat than one might expect.
Eggnog is perhaps the least diet-friendly drink consumed during the holiday season; a one cup serving packs over 300 calories and contains 19 grams of fat, 11 of which are artery-clogging saturated fat. It also contains 21 grams of sugar and 150 milligrams of cholesterol.
Pecan pie, which contains 500 calories per slice, should also be avoided. Though a serving is relatively small at only 1/8 of an entire pie, it packs 25 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat.
Calories are also lurking in holiday coffee drinks. Starbucks tempts consumers with decadent beverages throughout the Christmas season, and they tend to be loaded with both fat and calories. A grande Peppermint Mocha, for example, contains 410 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat. A venti will set you back 500 calories, which is equivalent to one-fourth the number of calories you need in an entire day.
Eliminating coffee concoctions and other high-calorie treats can play a vital role in preventing holiday weight gain. After all, it takes only an additional 500 calories a day to gain a pound in one week.
Holiday parties bring with them the promise of calorie-dense fare, but some of the foods served during the season are diet-friendly and even healthy. Turkey breast, for example, contains only 153 calories in a 4-ounce serving, which is approximately the size of a deck of cards. In addition to being relatively low-calorie, turkey is virtually fat-free and contains 26 grams of protein per serving.
Corn is also a healthy option at holiday gatherings; one cup contains 132 calories and 4 grams of fiber, which keeps you feeling full. It is also a good source of vitamin C.
If you must indulge in sweets during the holiday season, pumpkin pie is much friendlier on the waistline than pecan pie. At approximately 300 calories per slice, pumpkin pie is an excellent source of vitamin A, and it is considerably lower in fat than pecan pie. Ruggles Candy Cane ice cream is also a guilt free option, with only 160 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. Just be sure to limit yourself to a half-cup; if you consume a large bowl, you can end up eating hundreds of calories.
You can maintain weight loss throughout the holiday season without giving up your favorite treats like pumpkin pie and ice cream. If you eliminate calorie-dense foods, such as pecan pie and eggnog, you can indulge in the foods you enjoy without worrying about weight gain.
Be aware of the calorie content of typical foods so you can choose which to avoid when you're at a party. If you have a plan, you're less likely to go overboard with calories and fat.