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Chow Down for the Holidays

Chow Down for the Holidays

The holidays bring lots of cheer, fuzzy feelings and special presents. But for the health-conscious celebrator who is trying to keep his or her waistline recognizable, the most wonderful time of the year can also usher in a list of all of the tasty foods that are off limits.

But I say that not all holiday temptations have to be nixed. In fact, I say you can have your fruitcake and egg nog! Of course, we want to make sure that you keep your best health intentions intact, too.

That's why I suggest you add a bit of activity to your day in order to keep your cute, round bum and your tummy happy. Here's how to keep your belly cheerful minus the jellyroll:

* One cup of full-fat egg nog: You only have to do 2,100 jumping jacks (35 minutes) to burn off this holiday treat! If jumping around isn't your style, you may want to opt for cleaning up around the house before your guests arrive. A 70-minute cleaning session equals out to about one cup of egg nog.

* Potato latkes with sour cream: A 140-pound woman would have to walk 113 minutes at 3.5 mph to burn the 500-550 calories that are in this Hanukkah favorite. Instead, hit up your favorite 90-minute yoga class. If you are a guy, go play a 60-minute game of basketball with your friends and make this appetizer all yours.  

* A piece of grandma's famous apple pie: This sweet treat tops out at about 400 calories per piece (1/8 of a 9-inch pie). But that's OK because if a 140-pound woman has a 30-minute holiday smooching session with her significant other (34 calories), and then hits the pavement for a 35-minute jog, then she's good to go. Boys, you only need to jog for about 27 minutes—lucky you.

A good exercise session always helps me keep things in perspective. Something about wasting that chilly run on three pieces of pie just doesn't seem worth it to me! But it also reminds me that a bit of indulgence is A-OK. That way, there's no reason to feel bad after I drink that glass of wine or eat a piece of mom's famous chocolate cake.

I want to know: How do you prep for holiday eating while keeping things healthy?

—Caroline Shannon

Posted: 12/16/08

Balance! I don't think I go to quite as many holiday/eating events as others, so going overboard a few days won't completely sabotage your goal to live healthier. It's all about getting back on track, realizing that holiday time is exception time and not the norm.

  • By aliciak
  • on 12/23/08 10:16 AM EST

Yay for awesome holiday treats! The only problem is that I keep indulging and then not balancing it out with a workout. I'm trying to get all my last minute holiday shopping and cards finished along with put in overtime at the office because I'll be gone next week. I had planned to get in at least two workouts this week, but work and holiday stuff gobbled up my time. And even though I'll be on "vacation" next week, with all the family obligations, it's not exactly relaxing.


Agreed, LMAYO9 ... I gotta have my homemade chocolates, sugar cookies, pumpkin bread and other glorious treats. Indulging is part of the holiday spirit!


Love it! Yes we should indulge in the holidays. It's no fun to say no to everything, and then you just end up gorging on other things because you denied yourself the one thing you wanted!

  • By LMAYO9
  • on 12/17/08 10:42 AM EST