Stuff the Bird, Not Yourself

According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat from snacking and eating a traditional holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. And these figures don't even include breakfast or the late evening munching on leftovers!

The average holiday dinner alone can carry a load of 3,000 calories. And most of us nibble our way through more than another 1,500 calories downing dips and chips and drinks before and after the big meal. Combined, that's the equivalent of more than 2 1/4 times the average daily calorie intake and almost 3 1/2 times the fat. The typical holiday dinner can be loaded with 45 percent of calories from fat. In fact, the average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.

Many of us will figure that we've blown our diet and the holidays are to be enjoyed, so why worry about weight? But even if you start the holiday season off with gastronomical excess, you can quickly get back on the right track.

Reducing the amount of fat and calories in your snacking and main holiday meals can help prevent the average weight a person will gain over the holidays (from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day). And instead of crashing on the couch after eating, you can lessen or ward off weight gain by burning off that eggnog or pie.

Also, try these "Low-Fat Holiday" tips from the American Heart Association:

  • Eat lower-fat and reduced-calorie foods for days in advance of the holiday feast, and for days after.
  • Prepare for handling your worst temptations; if you want both pecan and pumpkin pie, take a tiny slice of each, instead of an average serving.
  • If cooking, provide low-fat foods, or ask if you can bring a low-fat dish.
  • After the meal, start a tradition -- a holiday walk, for instance.
     

You can also reduce the calories in a meal by using lower-calorie products. Try using a low-calorie sweetener in your tea or coffee or a casserole that requires sweetness. So, to all our visitors, here's to a holiday season full of health and happiness, and to holiday eating that doesn't make you too full to move!

Learn how to lighten your holiday feasting and still have a jolly good time!


Watch as nutrition expert Diane Quagliani, MBA, RD, helps shed light on some of the food and weight myths surrounding the upcoming holiday season.

If you haven't been watching what you eat, our Exercise Calculator will show you some ways to burn off those extra calories!

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