Holiday Foods That Pack On Pounds
The holidays are a great time of year: the bustle of shopping, getting together with family and friends, the wonderful meals . . . and the extra pounds. Unfortunately, the holidays are directly responsible for those two or three additional pounds you have at the beginning of the year. However, by learning about the foods that are most likely to cause weight gain, you can sail through the holidays without picking up extra weight.
Watch yourself – and your weight – when it comes to these popular holiday foods:
Eggnog is one of the high-fat culprits in holiday eating. The eggs and the cream alone make this drink one that can really sabotage your waistline, especially if you drink it often. The alcoholic version can be even heftier. Drink eggnog sparingly or pass on it completely to trim several hundred calories from your diet.
The dark meat in turkey is delectable and tender, and hardly ever dries out. But, this savory dish comes with a catch: it stays so tender due to the extra fat content within the meat. Eating poultry with the skin on will add even more fat to your meal. For an option that is lower in fat, choose white meat and avoid eating the skin. You can even take the skin off before you cook the bird to cut a few more calories.
While stuffing is often a holiday meal staple, it can add a whopping amount of calories to your menu. When cooked inside a turkey (or other form of poultry), it soaks up all the fat that would otherwise have “cooked out.” You can prepare stuffing on the stove instead of within the bird as a tasty alternative. However, even stovetop stuffing may not be a calorie-smart choice. You may want to think twice about whether stuffing in any form is really worth the possibility of gaining a pound or two.
Pecan pie, another holiday favorite, is a veritable waistline hazard. If you have a large slice of this gooey pie, you are eating nearly half of the total recommended daily calorie intake in one serving of dessert. The sugar content, the eggs, and the pecans all join forces to make this a fatty treat. Of course, the whipped topping doesn’t help, either. It would be very challenging to make this dessert low-fat. However, you can enjoy pecan pie in moderation . . . just take a smaller slice than usual.
Sweet potato casserole, that confection of brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows, can be a major contributor to holiday weight gain. Sweet potatoes can make an excellent stand-alone vegetable and really don’t need extra sweetening. But if you can’t endure your holiday without candied sweet potatoes, make sure to limit yourself to a smaller serving than you might have taken in the past.
Holiday foods tend to be very rich. Fortunately, we only indulge in them a few times a year! If you keep a close eye on the portion size and prepare a lower-calorie/lower-fat version of some of the foods on your menu, the holidays can be relatively healthy. Limiting yourself to one serving at meals can also help cut back on the calories. So go ahead . . . enjoy the festivities without guilt!