From turkey and trimmings to eggnog and fruitcake, it's no wonder the average American gains about five pounds during the holiday season. Nutritionist Joy Bauervisited “Today” to share smart strategies to help you avoid the holiday heft.
Holiday food quiz How many calories, fat and sugar are in traditional holiday foods?
How many minutes will you need to walk on the treadmill to burn off any one of these appetizers?:
- Pigs in blankets
- Potato latkes with sour cream
- Fried pork dumplings
Answer: 113 minutes walking at 3.5 mph.(calculated for 140-pound woman to burn 500-550 calories) Walk: 6.5 miles at a speed of 3.5 mphJog: 5 miles at a speed of 5.0 mph Run: 4.5 miles at a speed of 6.0 mph
- Cold Shrimp with cocktail sauce
- Crudités with salsa (or low-fat dip)
- Baked latkes with natural applesauce
- Chicken on a skewer
How much fat is in an average 2-cup bowl of a traditional soup?:(all averaged at 500+ calories)
- Seafood bisque
- French onion soup (with submerged bread and cheese)
- Cream of broccoli
Approximately 32 grams of fat.
- Hearty vegetable soup
- New England clam chowder
- Chicken/ beef bouillon
- Miso soup
- Tomato soup (no cream)
How many orders of fast food French fries can you eat for the same amount of calories in this holiday entree: large piece of prime rib (10 oz.), mashed potatoes with gravy (1 cup), corn bread or biscuit, creamed spinach (approx. 1 cup)?
10 small orders from Burger King! And there’s 20 grams less fat in the fries! In the entree, there's more than 2,300 calories and 159 grams of fat! Plus, 80 grams saturated fat — more than 3 full days worth!
- Lean ham or turkey breast (6 oz.)
- Baked potato with low-fat sour cream
- Sautéed spinach in olive oil and garlic or roasted veggies
How many teaspoons of sugar are in the following dessert: pecan pie ala mode with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle (800 calories)?
24 teaspoons (or packets) of sugar! If you lose the ice cream, whipped topping and outer pie crust, you’re left with only five teaspoons sugar, which equals a savings of 19 sugar packets!
- Pecan pie and apple pie without the crust (395 calories)
- Baked apple with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg (120 calories)
- 3 chocolate covered strawberries (150 calories)
- 2 holiday cookies: sugar or gingerbread (150 calories)
- Fresh fruit salad (120 calories)
- 1 oz. dark chocolate (150 calories)
How many jumping jacks would you have to do to burn off one of these holiday beverages (8 oz)?:
- Hot buttered rum
- Hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
2,100 jumping jacks! That’s 35 straight minutes of jumping jacks!
- Glass of wine
- Low-fat hot cocoa with light whipped cream
- Hot apple cider
- Skim cappuccino/ skim latte
Tips for avoiding holiday weight
Never go to a party hungry: Eat something that will take the edge off and maintain stable blood sugar levels (you’ll have more resolve at the party). The perfect pre-party snack will combine complex carbs with protein and unsaturated fat:
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Cup of lentil soup
- 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
- String cheese with a banana
Wear something fitted and fabulous: You’re less apt to eat when you’re feeling great about how you look (and conscience of how snug your clothes are fitting).
Hang out with the talkers versus the eaters: Eating is contagious. You don’t want to surround yourself with the people pigging out.
Recycle edible gifts: Repack and send off the fruit cakes, date breads and homemade cookies.
Load your plate with the right stuff: At the party, pile half your plate with vegetables — anything goes, and the rest should be divided among protein and starch.