TO YOUR HEALTH: December 2015



“Half a Sandwich”

The end of one year, and beginning of the next, tends to be a popular month for dressing up and enjoying holiday parties, church events, special dinner dates, and other opportunities to feel and look your best. Unfortunately, this time of year is also an “unpopular” time for weight gain and indulging in unusual eats and drinks that only come around every 12 months. Just when you need to fit into that sparkly, unforgiving dress, your body is revealing its secrets about holiday uh-ohs! Actually, the holiday uh-ohs start in October at Halloween and continue through New Year’s Eve. We want to escape that trap every year, but can’t help but take the bait of our favorite chocolate candy bar. And now they come in mini sizes, so that can’t be that bad for your waist line? Right?

Common sense tells us to exercise more and eat less. Eat the carrot instead of grandma’s meatball; drink the sparkling water instead of the eggnog; exercise 30 more minutes (if you can squeeze them into your schedule…that’s a whole article in itself). Burning 500 extra calories a day is all it takes to lose a pound each week (or eat 500 calories less each day).  My favorite line from an old movie is when an over-weight Italian gangster is asked what kind of sandwich is not fattening and he answers, “’half a sandwich.” It sounds so simple, yet is so hard to do during the holidays. Even so, we try hard to exercise more and eat less. For me, someone who views the holidays as an excuse to cook and eat every single family favorite food, the best advice would be to answer what to eat less of and how that relates to calories. I can keep track of calories in and try to bike, walk, or run a little longer to get more calories out. OR I could just buy a bigger dress.

So here is a holiday guide to some favorite treats that may only come around at this time of year (written from an Italian-family point of view and a Forsyth County flare) and how many estimated calories you can save if you eat “only half of the sandwich”:

Holiday Goody

Calories in

Typical Serving

“Half of the Sandwich”

Calories

 

Italian Meatballs (large with cheese)

280

140

Seafood Pasta

500

225

Lasagna (beef and cheese)

680

340

Christmas Cookie Iced

200/cookie

100

Krispy Kreme donut

190

95

Love Feast Bun

200

100

Eggnog, 1 cup

340

170

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

300/cup

150

Glass of Red Wine (5 oz.)

126

63

Glass of White Wine (5 oz.)

120

60

Sausage Cheese ball (1)

40

20

Pancakes

60/pancake

30

Starbucks Spiced Pumpkin Latte, Grande Size (2% milk)

310

155

Crab Dip (small serving)

95 (add 150 for chips)

47.5

Mixed Nuts (1/2 cup)

440

220

Cheesecake (one slice)

280

140

Apple Cider or Wassail

150/cup

75

Brunswick Stew (1 cup)

300

150

Chicken Pie

544

272

Apple Pie

405 (270 more with ice cream)

202

Roasted Turkey (2 pieces white)

134

67

Stuffing (1/2 cup)

180

90

Green Bean Casserole

224

112

Fudge (I small piece)

70

35

Moravian Sugar Cake

Couldn’t find this anywhere!

 

Everyone’s list of holiday uh-ohs is different, but this table may be a good start for women (or men) trying to maintain healthy caloric intakes that do not tip the scales this holiday season. Happy holidays and good luck finding the calorie count for sugar cake!


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