Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

You may pay later for holiday treats today

November 18th, 2011

File photo
If you can’t stop at one, it makes good diet sense to stay away from the holiday snack table.

You may think that one or two holiday cookies daily are harmless, but they do add up between Thanksgiving and the new year, such that holiday snackers tend to put on three to five hard-to-lose pounds during this period. Which seems tolerable until you look back over 10 years.

According to The Daily Meal website, the average Thanksgiving meal contains more than 3,000 calories and 100 grams of fat, and don’t discount the calories contained in commercial holiday beverages. Here are some examples compiled by the site, with more on view at

Jack in the Box Eggnog Ice Cream Shake: The large, 24-ounce size of this vanilla ice cream and eggnog syrup shake packs 1,135 calories (487 from fat) and 37 grams of saturated fat. To compare, three cheesecakes off the menu adds up to 200 calories less than one of these shakes.

Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie: There are 550 calories in the 24-ounce original size. That’s more than McDonald’s 520-calorie Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Starbucks Eggnog Latte: A venti size made with whole milk has 620 calories and 29 grams of fat (without whipped cream), equal to a Jumbo Jack with cheese.

If you’re curious about other things you ingest, as part of the health-care initiatives signed into law last year, restaurants with multiple outlets (numbers vary by states) must make nutritional information available, and many of the biggest chains are making the information available online as well as in-store.

Does it make a difference in how people order? It doesn’t to me because I generally know how “bad” a dish can be, but others in the industry have told me that most diners are shocked when they see how much calories and fat are in commercially prepared food and change their orders accordingly.

Also, calorie-counting apps like “Lose It!” offer an ingredient-by-ingredient count so that you can learn to become a better dish reader. Just an extra two teaspoon of oil on your salad, for instance, can be enough to push your calorie count over its limit. As an antidote, the app also shows the amount of exercise you need to do to erase those calories.