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Have a Healthy Holiday: Calorie Counts for Holiday Meals

There’s no denying the best part of the holidays is eating copious amounts of food with the people you love. Sure, receiving presents was undoubtedly the best as a child, but as soon as we’re expected to begin buying presents for others, the allure was overshadowed by the overbearing stress of holiday shopping. Regardless, the holidays are a special time as the family’s all together and everybody has time off from school or work.

Unlike Thanksgiving, the winter holidays – whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve – don’t necessarily have a set menu that people typically adhere to. As a result, every family tends to have a different lineup of dishes, leading there to be an almost-infinite number of foods that are attached to the holiday season. Almost all of these holiday foods are delicious, but unfortunately, almost all of them are also extremely calorie-laden.

We here at AFC Urgent Care North Andover think everyone should enjoy their holidays as much as possible. This means we think people deserve to reward themselves with an extra serving of dessert if it means a more enjoyable holiday season. However, we also believe it’s beneficial for everyone to have at least a general idea about how many calories they’re consuming. So we figured we’d share some calorie counts of our favorite holiday meals, starting with everybody’s favorite winter beverage, Eggnog.

Egg Nog

Eggnog – 342 Calories 

Note: This calorie count is relative to its recommended serving size, which is one measly cup. Let’s face it – nobody drinks one cup of eggnog. In fact, I’m 99% sure it’s impossible considering its sheer deliciousness. A more realistic serving for somebody would be two cups, and even that’s conservative. Multiply that one-cup calorie count of 342 by two and you get 684. Try running on the treadmill until you burn 682 calories. It would require you to run approximately 45 minutes at a relatively fast jog before you come close to burning that many calories.

For those who enjoy spiking their eggnog with alcohol, the calorie count jumps up to nearly 500 calories for one cup. Again, a more realistic serving is closer to two cups, so an eggnog drink with alcohol could potentially be up over 1,000 calories. Remember this: holiday drinks are extremely heavy and fatty. Be warned, there’s a reason people only drink eggnog during the holiday season; people wouldn’t be able to walk if they drank it all year round.

Baked Ham – 345 Calories

While turkey’s undoubtedly the centerpiece to any Thanksgiving dinner, baked ham is often the centerpiece to many folks’ Christmas dinner. This calorie count is adjusted to its serving, which is three slices, or approximately 4 oz. Although there are certainly worse foods out there, not many are as fatty. Just three slices of ham can be as much as 21 grams of fat. It’s also important to remember nobody’s eating just ham on dinner, they’re supplementing it with side dishes, which are of course the real calorie-killers in any holiday meal.

Cheesecake – 412 Calories

Cheesecakes are the perfect storm of calorie-heavy ingredients. It’s like any other cake, but pumped full of calorie-riddled dairy. It may not be the most iconic holiday dessert, but it’s a staple in many people’s households during the this time.

The serving size for a slice of cheesecake is approximately a 1/12th slice of a 9″ cake. This is a very modest portion, so 412 calories will probably not accurately reflect your slice of cheesecake’s calorie count.

Bread Stuffing – 355 Calories

I included stuffing just in case anybody still has an appetite left over from Thanksgiving. It’s delicious, but as I’m sure you can guess, it’s not the lightest dish. By the way, the serving size is only one cup, which is an impossibly

Mixed Nuts – 407 Calories

Mixed nuts are one of those dangerous snacks that you don’t even realize how many you have eaten. For instance, you’ll be at a holiday party and your host will have them around the house, and as you’re socializing, you’re incessantly snacking – almost subconsciously. You could easily spoil your appetite if you don’t watch out!

pot roastBeef Pot Roast – 387 Calories

While it may not be winter yet, there’s nothing better than having a pot roast warm you up during the cold winter months. There’s something about a pot roast that just feels comforting – whether it be its tasty flavor or savory smell. It could also be its hefty amount of fat. Just three slices, or 4 oz., of pot roast has 27 grams of fat.

All in all, the holidays should be an enjoyable time for everyone. A big source of this holiday magic for many people comes from eating all the delicious foods. Remember: if you choose to drink alcohol with your holiday meal, remember to drink in moderation and to note how many calories you’re consuming. Of course, some of these holiday dishes are relatively unhealthy, but as long as they’re eaten in moderation, there’s no reason for you to avoid eating them; you’ve earned it! Just remember to exercise regularly and to begin your New Year’s Resolution today, not January 1st.


Calorie counts found here: http://caloriecontrol.org/popular-holiday-dishes/