Avoiding high-calorie, high-fat foods during the holiday season can be a challenge. It can seem that everywhere we look, we are tempted with rich foods, from entrees to butter-drenched side dishes and succulent desserts. The best tactic for keeping off the holiday pounds is to practice moderation. You can indulge in holiday foods, but avoid large portions and hanging around at the buffet table. In addition, it may be helpful to avoid these five calorie- and fat-laden foods:
5 foods to avoid
Prime rib. Often served at holiday dinners, this is a high-fat meat. One 3-ounce serving has 340 calories and 28 grams of fat. Most restaurant portions will be triple that size. Consider opting for a petite cut steak, or split your prime rib with a partner.
Pot roast. Grandma’s savory pot roast can have almost 300 calories per 3-ounce serving of just the meat, as well as 16 grams of fat. This does not include the extras calories from gravy and drippings.
Pecan pie. One slice of traditional pecan pie can contain 33 grams of sugar. It also has 541 calories and 22 grams of fat, as compared to a slice of pumpkin pie, with only 12.9 grams of fat per slice.
Cheesecake. One slice of the original cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant has 707 calories and 29 grams of fat. While Aunt Jane’s cheesecake slices may not be as huge as the Cheesecake Factory’s, a single slice of even the no-bake, prepared-from-mix cheesecake has 271 calories and 12.5 grams of fat.
Eggnog. A one-cup (8-ounce) serving has 224 calories and 10 grams of fat. If you drink the entire quart, you are looking at 42 grams of fat!
5 food to try
While it may be beneficial to your waistline to avoid certain foods, there are guilt-free treats you may be able to indulge in. Try these:
Spiced cider. An alternative to eggnog, a cup of Celestial Seasoning’s Harvest Apple Cider has only 80 calories and no fat.
Candy canes. If you need a sweet, grab a candy cane. Three Spangler candy canes have only 67 calories and 0 fat.
Rice Krispies Treats. With only 137 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per 1.3-ounce bar, this treat beats a sugar cookie, which has 3 grams of fat.
Fresh vegetables. Carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and other veggies usually are hanging around the buffet table. Enjoy and indulge. Vegetables are filled with nutrients and are low in calories and fat. Limit high-fat dips and sauces, though.
Fresh fruit. Fresh pineapple, strawberries, grapes and other fruits are sweet and healthier options than munching on caramel corn and cookies. But avoid dipping your fruit in high-calorie chocolate sauces.
To help keep track of the nutritional content of foods, including calories and fat, refer to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database.