Courtesy of Getty Images Food is a central part of the holiday season. What's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? And if there's no cha
Food is a central part of the holiday season. What's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? And if there's no champagne on December 31st, is it really even New Year's Eve? Joking aside, the variety of goodies this time of year can pose a challenge to even the healthiest eaters. I'm here to help you prepare for temptation. I’ve got a roundup of calorie counts for your favorite seasonal appetizers, beverages, and desserts!
Pick and choose what works best for you.
Drink and Be Merry
Cocktails and winter holidays go together like birthdays and cake! Warm sweet beverages are also extremely common this time of year. If you’re hosting a holiday party, whip up some low-calorie cocktails. Otherwise, be smart with your picks. And when drinking alcohol, have a glass of water or club soda in between drinks to slow you down. A strong buzz can lead to poor food choices. So, sip slowly!
Wine: A 5-oz. glass of red or white wine has an average of 125 calories. Not bad! Bonus: Studies have shown that red wine is good for your heart (in moderation, of course).
Champagne: Cheers to this low-calorie beverage, which has an average of 80 calories per 4-oz. glass. The carbonation could also make you feel fuller.
Egg Nog: This is a once-a-year treat for many people. If you want to indulge, be aware that it’s pretty high in calories and fat.
Makes sense, since it's made with sugar, cream, eggs… The average cup has 350 calories and 20 grams of fat, and that’s without any alcohol. Look for brands like Silk, So Delicious, and Blue Diamond, which make lightened-up versions.
Hot Cocoa: There’s nothing like hot chocolate on a cold winter day.
But when it’s made with sugar and full-fat dairy, each cup contains around 350 calories! Look for reduced-calorie hot cocoa packets, or DIY: Use unsweetened cocoa powder, no-calorie sweetener, and fat-free milk or unsweetened almond milk.
Hot Buttered Rum: It's not exactly a shocker that this drink averages 350 calories per glass… Butter is in the name! If this is your jam (or rather, your butter), consider it a splurge and go light on the rest of your meal.
Apple Cider: This is a relatively safe choice. There's an average of 120 calories in each glass of the fall delight. Stick to one glass, as a seasonal treat.
Let’s Get ‘Appy
Since these foods are usually bite-sized, it’s easy to lose count of just how much you’ve eaten. My advice? Survey all your options before indulging. Then make a small plate of your favorites, so you see exactly what you're eating. Portion control is key!
Shrimp Cocktail: This is an excellent choice! Shrimp is low in calories and high in protein. Have five large ones for 35 calories and 6 grams of protein. Even cocktail sauce isn't too bad, with about 20 calories per tablespoon.
Pigs in a Blanket: Fair warning: Four piggies have an average of 300 calories. So, if you love these li'l guys, you might wanna stick with just one or two!
Latkes (a.k.a. potato pancakes): Typically made for Hanukah celebrations, these fried pancakes are full of oil. Each medium-sized latke has about 200 calories. Save calories by blotting off some of the oil.
Desserts of December (That Start in November)
Holiday Cookies: With around 125 calories per cookie, a sugar cookie can be a reasonable treat. Gingerbread cookies clock in with about 155 calories each, while shortbread cookies average 180 calories apiece.
Holiday Pies: Apple and pumpkin and pecan, oh my! Best of the bunch? Go for the pumpkin, with about 365 calories per slice. Apple may sound healthy, but it's bogged down with butter and sugar.
A slice of the gooey dessert has about 450 calories. And when it comes to pecan pie, exercise caution: around 500 calories per slice! Probably best to avoid the a la mode option…
Candy Canes: The pepperminty treats are great! Only about 60 calories per full-sized cane, and each one takes a while to eat.
Hungry for More?
Read this to start your holiday season right: “Avoid Holiday Weight Gain and Maintain Your Diet.”
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