The holidays are quickly coming upon us. In fact, how did you enjoy your Thanksgiving? It must have come and gone as all I see is Christmas in front of me at any store. With that being said, the real truth is that caloric consumption is going to be through the roof from mid-November through January 1st. According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat from snacking and eating a traditional holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. The average holiday dinner alone can carry a load of 3,000 calories. And most of us nibble our way through more than another 1,500 calories downing dips and chips and drinks before and after the big meal. Combined, that's the equivalent of more than 2 1/4 times the average daily calorie intake and almost 3 1/2 times the fat. The typical holiday dinner can be loaded with 45 percent of calories from fat. In fact, the average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.[i] This is just one meal, ladies and gentlemen. We did not even include leftovers or the weekly holiday parties leading up to the ball dropping in Times Square! Sofas and recliners unite, better call in for reinforcements! Even if Santa ate as much as we all did in that time frame, I’m not sure there is a roof or chimney that would support him either!
What does that mean in terms of blood and a whole lot of sweat and tears? It means better get a good pair of sneakers because you are going to need them! A 160-pound person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal.[ii] Can someone say Thanksgiving Marathon? Be sure to charge your IPhone, you are going to need that flashlight app! A good four hour walk will bring you to about 9pm which is just in time to have dessert and start all over again! Try wrapping your head around that instead of wrapping your lips around a fourth plate full of food!
By no means am I advocating sewing your mouth shut, just don’t go crazy on the “see-food” diet. Many of us, including myself at times (hard to believe, I know!) do not like the dreaded “M” word, MODERATION. However, the key to surviving the holidays is doing just that. Why let all your hard work go to waste? Six weeks full of eating, drinking and being merry. Is it really worth it? I’m sure if there was some type of mathematical formula to calculate caloric euphoria, we wouldn’t be so merry once we realized our new clothes we couldn’t wait to get for the holidays don’t even fit us! By simply using discipline and control or better yet, finding healthier alternatives to some of your holiday favorites, like these from the Mayo Clinic, we will keep the upper hand on the scale and not let the party crash us instead!