Dieting during the holidays is pretty much a recipe for disaster (and not particularly enjoyable), but that doesn’t mean you should consume every rum ball, shortbread cookie or holiday cocktail that comes your way this month. If you are hoping to head into 2013 without a Santa-inspired belly, complete with bowl full of jelly shake, you might want to take a minute to consider just how much activity it will take to work off your favourite holiday indulgences.
Some festive treats are certainly worth the sweat equity required to negate their calories, but we’re willing to bet that once you know what a moment of gingerbread on the lips is worth, you will start being a little more selective about the choices you make. Alternatively, we’re sure your neighbours will be eternally grateful for you clearing their driveway as well as your own!
There’s no denying that eggnog-flavoured anything is pretty appealing this time of year, but at an average of 200 calories per half cup – and that’s before the rum – this creamy indulgence needs to be consumed in moderation. Even if you opt out of a tradition glass of nog, the much-beloved eggnog latte is a fat and sugar bomb waiting to explode all over your well laid workout plans. Clocking in at 460 calories for a grande size (190 of which are strictly fat), you would need to hit the skating ring for 65 minutes just to break even.
Sugar cookies certainly aren’t the most damaging baked good on the block, but when it comes to portion control, most people can’t stop at just one or two. Maybe you will be more inclined to leave a few for Santa when you realize that each tiny Pillsbury ready-bake circle, packs 100 calories – and that’s without any of the delicious frosting. If you just can’t help yourself, just start rocking around the Christmas tree; 11 minutes of moderately vigorous dancing will work each one off.
Let’s face it, for most folks, it’s not so much about the turkey as it is about the bread-based stuffing goodness that’s hiding inside. While there are many options for keeping calories in check and switching up recipes for those with gluten intolerances and such, traditional bread stuffing usually packs over 400 calories into each cup-sized serving. For most, this is an integral aspect of a holiday meal, so go ahead and enjoy. Just hit the cross-country ski trails for an hour or so afterwards and you will be back on track.
Chocolates are everywhere this time of year: being passed around the office, in the candy bowl at Grandma’s house and stuffed in your stocking. Heck, we’ve even made a tradition out of eating a chocolate every morning for the first 25 days of December, so it’s no wonder we view these bite-sized sweets as harmless. Let’s get one thing straight though, at 79 calories a pop, the Lindors and Ferrero Rochers can add up quickly. If over the course of a day you unwrap just six, you are looking at 474 extra calories you are taking in. That’s the equivalent of 63 minutes of tobogganing, just to work off a few blissful bites.
The cocktail party circuit is dangerous territory for anyone trying to watch their waistline and it’s incredibly easy to say, “I worked out, I deserve to let loose and have a couple.” No one’s expecting you to sip water all month long, but there are some choices that are better than others. Averaging 212 calories per four ounce serving, Cosmos, or any drink with juice in it for that matter, are not the best way to go. If you take in just four over the course of an evening, you are looking at two hours and 10 minutes of snow shovelling just to work those off. And let’s be honest, after a four-cocktail night, no one’s getting up early to clear the driveway.