While you don’t want to unilaterally say no to something that truly makes the holidays for you, like eggnog if that’s your thing, it’s important to realise that certain holiday treats are so egregious and unhealthy that either a very limited amount should be enjoyed or not at all.
Here are seven foods to avoid or limit during the holidays to prevent extra weight gain:
- Eggnog – Traditional eggnog is so high in calories because it’s made with heavy cream and is loaded with lots of sugar. One serving of eggnog, which is only about one cup, contains over 360 calories. Today you can find alternatives that taste great. But be aware that the original is very, very caloric and has zero nutritional value.
- Casseroles – You have no idea what’s in a casserole if you did not make it. Most people use lots of fat, sugar, and cream during the holidays because they feel too guilty the other times of the year, so if you’re unsure of the ingredients, there are much better holiday treats to enjoy.
- Dark Meat and Turkey Skin – If you like eating turkey during the holidays, stick to the breast and avoid eating the skin. While some people think turkey is healthier than beef, the truth is dark meat and the skin are just as bad for you, if not worse, than a good steak.
- Stuffing – Most stuffing is made with a lot of bread, bacon fat, and nothing that is great for you. Sure, it tastes pretty good, but it’s probably just stovetop unless it’s made with your grandma’s secret cornbread recipe. So, save your calories for something good and skip the things you can have any time you want to.
- Dips and Gravy – The best strategy is to actually “dip” instead of cover when eating dips and gravies. Put a serving of dip or gravy (about two tablespoons) in a side dish so you can control the amount you consume easier.
- Pie – Pie can be a problem due to the high calories in the crust and the filling. It’s all-around a recipe for indulgence. Some store-bought pies can have more than 700 calories a slice. While you probably do want to have a little pie during the holidays, only indulge if it’s super special and made homemade by you, your mom, or granny.
- Fruitcake – While it has fruit, a fruitcake is full of problems. It’s very dense, and one small piece can have more than 200 calories for a very small piece. Most fruit cakes don’t even taste good to start with. But, again, if your granny isn’t making this cake for you, which makes it super special, you can pick something more flavourful and delightful.
You don’t have to do without, of course. Instead, just realise that these dishes pack a high-calorie punch with zero nutritional value. You can have some, but you will need to do it mindfully. When you do pick one of these to indulge in, choose the very best made by someone special to make up for the hit to your nutrition and calorie limits.
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