You know the scenario…
You arrive at the holiday party… and there’s no shortage of festive cocktail offerings, every type of Christmas cookie, bowls of munchies, platters of appetizers…candy… fudge… chips… cheese… meat… crackers… OH MY! Too many choices! And maybe you think, “I’ll have a little of this, a little of that, and then this, and more of that, and maybe just another handful, another bite, another drink, REPEAT!” And before you know it, you’re leaving the party overstuffed, guilty, and not having a clue as to the extent of fat, sugar, and calories you just took in. But what you do know is…it was TOO MUCH!!
Well I’m here to share the facts on some common holiday treats. I believe that knowledge is power, and power is control. So take control over your choices during the holidays!
- Wine (red or white)- a 5 oz glass of wine has 120-130 calories. Just try not to have more than 1-2 glasses!
- Light Beer- a 12 oz light beer has 100-115 calories. It’s called ‘light’ for a reason, so drink to that!
- Regular Beer- with a bit more carbohydrate and usually a higher alcohol content than light beer, regular beers range 150-170 calories per 12 oz. Not too bad if this is what you prefer…limit to 1-2 beers!
- Champagne- a 4 oz glass of champagne is 80 calories. Celebrate and cheers to that!
- Egg Nog (spiked)- weighing in at a whopping 360 calories per 1 cup, this “drink” is more like a meal’s worth of calories laden with fat (from cream), sugar, and keep in mind, even just the shot of rum contributes 100 calories!
- Liqueur (i.e. irish cream, coffee or chocolate liqueur)- just 2 fl oz (a tease) is 200+ calories! Try to limit to just 1 shot (1 fl oz) for 100 calories… Sip slowly over ice and savor the flavor!
- Margarita or other similarly sweet “signature” holiday drink- think “liquid sugar” when it comes to margaritas or other sweet mixed drinks, as they usually contain simple sugar, juices, sweet and sour, flavored liqueurs etc. They can range from 200 calories (a sweet martini) up to 500+ calories (for a 10 oz margarita)!
- Nuts- packed with protein and healthy fats, nuts are a nutritious choice that can keep you satiated. However, keep in mind that because of the fat, nuts are very calorically dense– just 1 oz (1/4 of a cup) contains around 15 grams of fat, and just under 200 calories, so limit yourself to just a small handful!
- Popcorn- Light and packed with fiber, you can get more “bang for your buck” with this snack! A full 3 cups of popped popcorn is only 80 calories! However, that does not account for any butter, cheese, caramel, etc. that may likely be added- if that’s the case, reduce the amount to just a couple handfuls or 1 cup.
- Raw veggies with hummus- filled with fiber and water, veggies are practically free foods, and hummus (packed with fiber and protein) has just around 70 calories per 2 Tbsp. Enough said!
- Baked tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole- 1 cup of baked tortilla chips contains about 100 calories, salsa is a freebie :), and guacamole (with it’s healthy monounsaturated fat) contains 5 grams of fat and 45 calories per 2 Tbsp. Here’s the bottom line- choose it, but watch portions of chips and guac!
- Shrimp cocktail- a lean source of protein, shrimp is a nutritious, low calorie choice. Six medium shrimp with 1 Tbsp. of sauce adds up to only 90 calories, and a good 12 grams of protein! Go for it!
- Cheese and summer sausage- loaded with unhealthy saturated fat, cheese and summer sausage are calorically dense choices. Just 1 oz of cheese (the size of 4 game dice) contains 9 grams of fat and 110 calories. An ounce of summer sausage (similar in size) will pack about the same! Unless you’re going to have a just a small bite or two, steer clear of this choice!
- Creamy dips- Think “hidden fats” as these type of dips likely contain high fat creams, cheeses, cream cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream, etc. Just a couple tablespoons could add up to 200 calories!
- Chicken wings- most would think chicken is a lean meat, right? Well not when it includes the skin (high in saturated fat) and is fried! Just 3 wings (3.5 oz) packs 240 calories, and 18 grams of fat!
- Pumpkin pie- When it comes to pie, pumpkin is one of the better choices compared to others. 1 slice (1/8 of a pie) contains 300 calories. Consider an even smaller slice or cut off some of the crust to save yourself some calories!
- Sugar cookie with buttercream icing- yes, it’s a cookie, and yes, it’s mostly sugar, but it’s one of the most reasonable choices (about 160 calories) when it comes to a cookie. Have just one!
- Peanut butter blossom cookies- If you’re like me and have a weakness for the peanut butter and chocolate love affair, then treat yourself to one or 2 small blossoms for just 90 calories per cookie!
- Fudge- two 1-inch squares of fudge average 140 calories… if you ask me, such as smooth and rich treat that is worth every calorie!
- Pecan pie- Laden with all of that fat (butter, pecans, crust) and sugar, pecan pie is one of the worst choices! Just a slice (1/8 of a pie) weighs in at just over 500 calories! That’s a meal!
- Peanut brittle- 280 calories in just 2 oz! Steer clear, or limit to just 1 small piece.
- Chocolate covered pretzels- How easy is it to grab handful after handful of this sweet and salty treat? But be aware that just 1 piece has 60 calories, so imagine how quickly several pieces will add up!
What will you be serving up at your holiday party?