Steer clear of these five naughty noshes and give your body a fighting chance this holiday season.
Between office parties, family dinners, and gift swaps, December is jam-packed with diet-busting possibilities. While one or two holiday dinners won’t erase all your hard work, the constant stream of festive social events running you ragged through this month can definitely put a wrench in your machine. Don’t let these five temptresses knock you off your game.
If anything signals the holidays, it’s eggnog. And if anything signals high calorie and fat, it’s eggnog. With 360 calories, 18 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbs (40 grams sugar), and 8 grams of protein in only 8 ounces, it’s definitely something to politely pass on when offered.
If you can’t get through the holidays without a glass or two of nog, you can slash the damage in half while still enjoying all the traditional flavors with So Delicious brand Coconut Milk Nog. The same 8-ounce serving is a little easier to swallow health wise, with 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 30 grams of carbs (28 grams sugar). So Delicious also makes a low-calorie holiday chocolate mint beverage that has 100 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 14 grams of carbs (12 grams sugar) per 8 ounces.
Chocolate Caramel Popcorn
As if regular caramel popcorn isn’t bad enough, during the holidays, companies roll out the caramel corn dripping in all kinds of extras, including chocolate, candy pieces, and sugar-coated nuts. Giant tins of this stuff can be found in almost every office come December, and it’s easy to just grab a handful here and there throughout the day. Every cup of this sinister snack will run you 265 calories, 9 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs (26 grams sugar), and 2 grams of protein.
Give your cravings for caramel corn and other treats a beat-down by keeping healthy snacks like apple slices and almond butter around for a little sweet and a little crunch. Trader Joe’s natural peppermint candies (no red dye, the stripes are from veggie juice extract) at 45 calories per 4 pieces may also do the trick.
Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
The coffee shops really stick it to us as the weather gets colder. It starts with seasonal pumpkin lattes, and before you know it, the winter holidays are upon us, and baristas are whipping up coffees and hot chocolates infused with sugary syrups of peppermint, gingerbread, and eggnog. A medium sized (16 ounce) peppermint white chocolate mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream will run you 520 calories, 18 grams of fat, 78 grams of carbs (75 grams sugar), and 14 grams of protein. Even switching to skim milk and skipping the whipped cream will still keep you at 400 calories, 5 grams of fat, 75 grams of carbs (73 grams sugar), and 13 grams of protein.
Pancake houses and breakfast spots highlight seasonal themed hotcakes, French toast, and crepes during this time of year, and they come with some scary numbers. A stack of four eggnog pancakes at a popular chain tipped the scales at 2150 calories, 84 grams of fat, 298 grams of carbs (123 grams sugar), and 46 grams of protein. That’s an entire day’s calorie allotment for some people. Their pumpkin pancakes made a drop to 630 calories, but that’s still very high in the grand scheme of things.
When dining out for breakfast, play it safe with healthy choices, including scrambled eggs or veggie omelets, turkey sausage, oatmeal, and fruit. At home, add canned pumpkin, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract to your favorite pancake recipe.
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Chips
Turn your munching gaze from heavy hitters like hot spinach and artichoke dip with its 220 calories and 22 grams of fat per ¼ cup. Add 5-7 tortilla chips, and you’re closing in fast on 300 calories. This can take a toll on your waistline on its own, or even more so when it’s just one of many appetizers you sample over the course of a party.
Healthier appetizers like Greek yogurt dips with crudités, shrimp cocktails, seasonal roasted root veggie dishes, and dark chocolate covered strawberries will keep your mouth busy and happy, while keeping the food police on stand down.