How to Enjoy Holiday Treats without Fattening Up
By Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer
Everyone knows it’s easy to gain weight over the Holidays. Christmas parties and yummy treats seem to replace exercise and healthy food. Once high calorie foods are in our view it’s hard to get them out of our head.
Although most people admit going off their diet this time of year, we still act shocked at how fat we feel by New Year’s Day. Did we really eat that much?
Over the years researchers have found we don’t gain quite as much weight during the Holidays as we once thought, but we do gain some weight. I feel like I already gained 10lbs just from Thanksgiving alone. There’s no wonder we end the season feeling like a fat Santa.
First, our bellies stay stuffed. Family and social gatherings are always centered on enormous feasts, making overeating a trend of the season. It’s as if we’ll never be able to eat again. Interestingly enough, no matter how disgusting or fat we feel after pigging out we often repeat our actions the very next day.
Another reason we gain weight is because we snack more. Between large feasts and fancy parties are delicious sweets. Chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, fruit cake, Christmas cookies – you name it, they are all floating around every office in the country. Of course we’re going to eat it! We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings right?
The next explanation for fattening up over the Holidays is because we drink more calories like eggnog, cider and hot chocolate. Alcoholic beverages replace water. All the sudden you’ve added several hundred calories to your day in just beverages alone.
Lastly we feel fat because we don’t workout as much. If we could just burn as many calories running errands as we do running miles we’d be set.
Unfortunately we trade workouts for shopping and our neglected muscles begin to feel mushy. In the end we feel like Santa looks – no wonder gyms are so busy each New Year!
So how can we survive the Holidays?
We have to make time to work out so we can “afford” to eat the extras if we want them. Doing more cardio makes room for more calories and lifting weights helps you to feel nice and firm instead of fat and flabby.
The Holidays are hard for all of us. As my grandmother once said, “you can’t always change your circumstances, but you can change how you respond to circumstances and that’s what counts.”
Average Calories in Popular Christmas Treats:
- Chocolate Fudge with nuts: 472 calories (1 serving)
- Pumpkin Pie: 340 calories (1 slice)
- Pecan Pie: 503 calories (1 slice)
- One Brownie: 242 calories, (2” square)
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels: 190 (13 pretzels)
- Chocolate Chip Cookie: 210 (1 cookie)
- Eggnog (non-alcoholic): 343 calories (1 cup)
- Apple Cider: 130 calorie (1 cup)
- Nestle Hot Cocoa: 112 calories (1 packet)
Approximate Calories Burned During Activity: (calories vary per individual)
- Walking: 135 calories per hour
- Walking for exercise: 230 calories per hour
- Power Walking: 400 calories per hour
- Jogging: 600 calories per hour
- Yoga: 240 calories per hour
- Aerobics: 400 calories per hour
- Spinning: 440 calories per hour
Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.
You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.
You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.