- Find a Doctor
- Medical Services
- Patients & Visitors
- Classes & Events
- Health Library
- Why Choose Sharp?
Candy Cumming, MS, RD, a wellness education specialist at Sharp Weight Management and Health Education, shares tips for curbing calories this holiday season.
While one holiday meal never made anyone gain weight, a season of steady treats can add pounds. Sample some chocolate here, have a cookie there, say “cheers” with an eggnog and you’ve already consumed hundreds of calories.
By steadily continuing this routine throughout the season, a person could easily gain one to two pounds a week. It takes only 3,500 additional calories to gain a pound of fat; 500 calories a day can lead to an added pound a week.
Here is a quick look at the amount of calories in many popular holiday treats:
|Food Item||Serving Size||Calories|
|Apple cider||1 cup||120|
|Cocktail (i.e., appletini)||6 ounces||235|
|Eggnog, plain||1/2 cup||200|
|Eggnog, with alcohol||1/2 cup||300|
|Peppermint mocha/whip grande||6 ounces||400|
|Cookies, Mrs. Field-size||250|
|Cookies, small||1 ounce||140|
|Cranberry sauce||1/4 cup||110|
|Filet mignon||4 ounces||225|
|Green bean casserole||1 cup||260|
|Green beans||1 cup||40|
|Mashed potatoes, with butter||1 cup||300|
|Prime rib||4 ounces||500|
|Sweet potato||1/2 pound||200|
|Sweet potato casserole||1 cup||340|
|Fruit cake||3 ounces||300|
|Pecan pie||1/8 pie||500|
|Pumpkin pie||1/6 pie||300|
As you can see, most of these holiday foods pack a lot of calories into an ounce of food because they are loaded with sugar and fat. So what can you do?
Limit how much you bake.
You may love to bake, but a house full of treats can be too tempting. Bake a small amount of your favorites to save for special days during the season.
Enjoy a light snack before attending the holiday party.
Don’t arrive to your event starving. Enjoy a light snack — a piece of fruit or string cheese, for example — before going. Once there, select a few special items and savor them by eating them slowly.
Fill ¾ of your plate with lower-calorie items.
Reserve one-quarter of your plate to indulge a little bit on high-calorie foods you may only see during the holidays. Enjoy it and savor it without guilt. Skip the stuff you can eat any time of year, such as chips, crackers, cheese, store-bought cookies, pretzels, nuts.
Go easy on the alcohol.
As I tell my patients, alcohol calories never travel alone. They always come with “associates.” By that, I mean you inadvertently eat more once you start drinking alcohol. Any plans you may have had to be discreet with your eating may go out the window with the first drink!
For More Information
For more information about nutrition counseling, please call 619-740-4632. For more information about nutrition support services for patients, please call 619-740-4621. For health, wellness and weight management classes, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277).
To learn more about Sharp's nutrition services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about nutrition, read the Nutrition News archive.