It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and the most caloric. With holiday parties in full swing, friends and family are pulling out special ingredients and time-tested recipes. But if you’ve already missed a couple of workouts and your party pants are starting to feel tight, you might not want to go too crazy with the canapés. Here are the most outrageous, over-the-top holiday foods (that make dietitians cringe).
In the Dizzying-Drinks Category: Eggnog with Bourbon
Most people underestimate how many calories are in alcohol: one 5 oz-glass of wine is about 123 calories, and one 1 oz-shot of hard liquor is about 97 calories. Shake that spirit into a cocktail and you’re looking at a heftier cup of cheer. Unfortunately, eggnog is a heavy hit with cream and eggs and sugar and booze.
In the Decadent-Dips Category: Classic Spinach Dip
Do you even know what you’re dipping that chip into? From classy crab and smoked salmon to fiesta-flavored queso, holiday dips have many layers of decadent. There’s even a new trend in “cheesecake” and “cookie dough” dips, but proceed with caution—if you’re spreading sweet stuff on a cookie, you might as well double the calories. But spinach dip is a classic culprit, since it can contain shredded cheese and cream cheese and sour cream and mayo.
In the Wrapped-in-Pastry Category: Brie en Croute
It sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Anything wrapped in pastry also happens to be wrapped in calories, and that’s especially true for cheese. Brie is already a triple-cream cheese bursting with butterfat. As a throwback, some people like to add a smear of jam or jelly (read: sugar) before packaging up this butter bomb.
In the Wrapped-in-Bacon Category: Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Sausages
There are so many angels and devils on the party scene: shrimp, scallops, figs, dates stuffed with nuts, chiles stuffed with cheese. But nothing makes nutritionists say bah humbug quite so much as processed meat wrapped in processed meat. The latest trend is brown sugar bacon, which adds crunch and of course, more calories.
In the Creamy-Casseroles Category: Potatoes au Gratin
Before you dig in, consider much cream lurks in the depths of that casserole. Creamed spinach adds insult to injury, in that it’s supposed to be a vegetable. But potatoes au gratin, buttered on the bottom, drowned in cream, and smothered in cheese, tend to be the most outrageous of the ooey and gooey.
1 cup potatoes au gratin 323 calories
In the Indulgent-Dessert Category: Pecan Pie with Ice Cream
There’s never just one holiday dessert. If you’re picking between cookies and cakes and pie, a slice of gingerbread cakes sets you back 263 calories and a festive pumpkin cheesecake might ring in 401 calories. But old-fashioned pecan pie takes the cake. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s nuts.
The point isn’t to scare you away from the buffet. It’s to arm you with info so you know how much you’re indulging. These examples show how easy it is to spot extra calories: ingredients like bacon, sausage, cheese, cream, butter, and sugar are all high in calories, so if a holiday dish contains three or four of those, it’s likely to be a calorie bomb. If it’s your favorite holiday food ever, you might still decide that it’s worth a few bites! But it’s also not hard to find fresh alternatives—or to balance the rest of your week with lighter fare, like smoothies and salads.
Source: Fitbit Blog