List: Holidays foods to avoid this year.

Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas

Naughty holiday foods that will not be nice for your waistline.

Christmas Bow

Christmas Bow

The season of weight gain has begun.  The tempting and tasty foods that we all love will soon be on our plates. It is nearly Christmas and New Years, and we have Thanksgiving behind us.  The problem with this time of year is the is the number gatherings with the peer pressure and alcohol to lower our inhibitions.  The average person overeats to the point where they gain one to four pounds puts during the holiday season. You do not have to gain weight and avoid fun during the holiday season.   You can still enjoy yourself without making poor choices.  The key is knowing which foods are better alternatives and avoiding those foods that are naughty.  

Naughty Food List:

  1. Avoid Green Bean Casserole.  This casserole is delicious, but it is full of fat. Unfortunately, the fat is not a healthy fat.  The dish we love can have up to 180 calories a serving.   A better choice is broiled, seared, or steamed green beans.  I really like green beans that are seared in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.  The flavor is magnificent.   The change can lower your calorie intake by about 50-90 calories depending on the amount of olive oil you add. 
  2. Avoid Egg Nog. I love eggnog, but it is loaded with sugar and fat.  Although, it is one of the most beloved and familiar holiday drinks is definitely one to avoid. Eggnog is loaded with empty calories because it made with alcohol, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar.   It can contain up to 400 calories a serving per cup.  A better choice is to mix skim milk with eggnog in a 60:40 to 75:25 mixture.  You can have the flavor with fewer calories.  You can also replace the eggs with an egg substitute.  
  3. Eggnog Cupcake and Eggnog Drink

    Eggnog Cupcake and Eggnog Drink

    Avoid holiday appetizers and snacks.  Holiday parties and gatherings are notorious for mindless eating of finger foods such as little hotdogs, meatballs, and mini-egg rolls.  Be careful at those holiday parties because those small finger foods add up quickly.  A better choice is to look for the cheese, fruits, lean meats, and vegetables.  

  4. Avoid Stuffing.  Stuffing is basically low-quality stale bread that is loaded with butter and gravy.  It is horrible for you.  A single serving may have up to 600 calories.  A better choice is to replace the bread with a higher fiber version.  Also, replace the butter and gravy with a low-sodium chicken broth.
  5. Avoid Pies. One of the evilest villains is pecan pie which may contain up to 400-600 calories per slice.  A better choice is a bowl of fruit or a small slice of fruit pie such as apple.  Heck, pumpkin is better for you than pumpkin.  The key is if you must have pie, shrink the slice to 1/4.  A smaller serving will reduce the dent in your diet that will make more ground to make up in the New Year.    
  6. Avoid Mashed Potatoes. Mashed potatoes or potatoes, in general, are nothing more than carbohydrates if you remove their skin.  Mashed potatoes are loaded with cream, butter, and salt in order to create that creamy texture and flavor we love.   A single cup sized serving can contain over 200-300 calories.  A better choice is mashed cauliflower or if you must have potatoes, keep the skin intact and eat it.  Baked potatoes can be a healthy alternative as long as you limit how much butter and salt to add to them. 
  7. Avoid Turkey with skin.  The skin of chicken and turkey and chicken is just pain horrible for you.  It is high in the worst fat for you: saturated fat.  A better choice is  Serve yourself turkey breast or other white meat without the skin.  Heck, deep fry the turkey and remove the skin before you eat it.  
  8. Avoid Sweet Potato or Mashed Carrot Casserole.  Sweet potatoes are a healthy food. They are loaded vitamins A and C, and they are a good source of minerals.  The problem is not the sweet potatoes, but the crap you add to them to make the casserole.  A better choice is to leave out the marshmallows, butter, nuts, and lots of sugar.  This change will reduce the calories and keep some of the flavor.

The bottom line: You can still enjoy the holidays without destroying your diet progress by making better choices.  If you must have the bad stuff, watch the serving size. 

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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