Oh Boy, the “Tiny Tastes” of the Holiday Can Add Up…
They have arrived…..the “TINY TASTES”! So, what are “Tiny Tastes”? I define them as small bits of cookies, candies, drinks, cakes, and whatever brightly colored food item that lingers next to the refrigerator in the breakroom, at the check out counter at Starbucks, at the neighborhood holiday party, and even at the gym.
The holidays are a time filled with sweet treats and salty temptations. It can be hard to resist, but you are not alone. Many times we feel even when we are resisting our favorite treats, those dreaded “holiday lbs” can still creep up. “Just one bite” here and and another one there of our favorite calorie dense treats can quickly add up. Then, you jump on the scale on January 1st after a month of indulgences and WHAMM-O, the scales says you are 3 lbs on the wrong side of where you started off December 1st!!! New Year’s Resolution…”here I come is your first thought!”
Let’s take a look at how they all add up…
Cinnamon coated Pretzel bite sample in the mall…”It’s just one tiny bite size pretzel and I’m hungry. What harm can one tiny pretzel do? Pretzels are fat-free, right?” – 25 calories
The neighbors bring over cheese straws…”They are small, and I just want to try one!” – 60 calories
Half of a cookie coming out of the oven…”I just want to make sure they taste alright. This is my afternoon snack.” – 50 calories
Half a cup (4oz) of eggnog….”It’s been a long day, it’s cold outside, and this is my favorite holiday drink. I will only have half a cup though!” – 150 calories
Total caloric intake through “tiny tastes”=
Did you know that 3,500 calories = 1 lb? Since there are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years, eating just 250 extra calories per day during these 35 days can lead to a 2½ pound weight gain!
Here are some tips to help you snack healthier during the holidays!
1. Try snacking on fruit or veggies first. If you are hungry, try to find a healthier alternative like apple and peanut butter or veggies and hummus before reaching for the chocolate truffles and peppermint brownies.
2. “Out of sight, out of mind”– Keep the unhealthy treats far out of eyesight and far from your reach. Keeping these choices in areas of the pantry or refrigerator where they are not likely to catch your eye can prevent you from eating them on a whim. Keep the fruit and veggie snacks within close reach, and where you will likely see them first.
3. Never go to a party hungry. If you save up for the party, you run the risk for losing control, and eating too much of the high calorie and high fat options. Instead, eat small and healthy snacks throughout the day, and be sure to drink plenty of water!
4. Watch your liquid calories. This includes alcoholic drinks. Our favorite holiday drinks, including eggnog, peppermint mochas, and gingerbread lattes can really pack in the calories, fat and sugar- and it doesn’t even fill you up! Make sure to be aware of how many liquid calories you consume, and try to choose the smaller sizes when ordering out, and opt for the lower calorie and sugar options.
5. Bring a healthier appetizer or dish to the party. This will ensure that even if most of the dishes at the party are unhealthy, you will have something you can snack on that is a healthier alternative.
Co-written by guest blogger Kinley Perno, MS, RDN, LD and Lesley Baradel, RDN, LD