Holidays are for family and calories

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Holidays are great to catch up with family members, ask for more details on their Facebook posts and consume a lot of calories. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The calories part that is. Catching up with friends and family won’t hurt your waistline – unless you eat the entire time.

Who is on the list of calorie-offending holidays? Let’s give it a try…

July 4

Hot dogs, beer, etc., can add up calories quickly. Sitting in the sun and talking whileeating can make it easy to forget that this will now be hot dog No. 5.

Suggestions for the calorie-conscious: If you choose to drink beer, drink light beer. That will help with calories a bit. Hot dogs? Sure, maybe try them without the bun. That saves calories. Also, mustard has no calories. Ketchup has some.

Perhaps the biggest offender – and this is true for just about all holidays is dessert. A little piece of cake, for example, often has far more calories than a hot dog and a beer combined. If you can skip dessert or have an extremely small piece, that does wonders. Yup, I know it tastes good. (Extremely small = one bite.)


Why is this one on here? Turkey is relatively low in the calorie category. That is true, but let me share this story:

Family was coming over around noon for lunch and football. I had some time in the morning since my wife (thank you!) was preparing the meal. The weather was decent and I went on a good run. According to the My Fitness Pal app I burned 1,300 calories.

In other words: Another 1,300 calories of food that I could consume now.

I continued tracking my calorie intake for the day with the app.

By around 4 p.m., I had run out of calories. Even with the extra 1,300 I “earned” that morning.

Wow, right? I thought this was going to be an easy day and got carried away. And I didn’t even eat everything.

Suggestions for the calorie-conscious: Go on a walk in the morning or afternoon. If possible, split up the family meal into smaller meals. You probably won’t get everyone to change to smaller meals throughout the day, but perhaps try eating just a little bit when everyone sits down to eat. Then eat some more a couple of hours later and then again later on. You might not even be hungry on those second and third go-arounds. Skip them if that’s the case.

Also be careful with the dessert. If you are going to have some, how about just pie with no ice cream on top of it?


“We are doing four Christmases over one and a half days.”

You may have done that yourself. First there is the immediate family’s Christmas, then you pack up the kids and go to Grandma’s. Then your brother’s and the other grandma. Of course, everyone will have made their specialities. You have to have it. Maybe.

Suggestions for the calorie-conscious: If your Christmas involves multiple stops, each with their own meal, consider eating really small portions. Spend the time not eating, but socializing. Talk. Share stories.

Eating on holidays

Eating healthy and keeping the calorie count down on holidays is certainly possible. It certainly can be a challenge, too. With willpower, some planning and support from other family members you can do it. Which high-calorie holidays did I miss, if any?

Tweet at me at @ctrappe.