Hidden Calories

The holidays are here and enjoying the season with friends and family usually includes having a nice beverage, alcoholic or not. A lot of the time, the drink we choose has a lot of hidden calories that do not help maintain your waistline and may negate all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.Holiday celebrations can translate into additional calories from drinks that you wouldn’t normally have. Before you reach for that glass of cheer, beware, many fancy holiday drinks are loaded with calories, fat and sugar. Eggnog, Hot Chocolates, Coffees, Cocktails are some of the well liked holiday drinks that will not help you when you go to step on that scale. There are ways to still enjoy a tasty beverage, while leaving some of those additional calories behind.

Here are some of the favorite high calorie holiday drinks and what it would take a 150lb woman to burn it off.

  1. Peppermint Mocha – a 16-ounce serving has 470 calories and equal to 1 hour of intense yoga.
  2. Pumpkin Spice Latte- a 16-ounce serving contains 410 calories and equal to 40 minutes of step aerobics.
  3. Hot Buttered Rum – 418 calories and equal to a 4-mile run.
  4. Margarita – approximately 9-ounces is 408 calories and equal to 60 minutes on the rowing machine.
  5. White Russian – 355 calories and equal to 30 minutes of jumping rope.
  6. Eggnog – 1-cup serving is approximately 350 calories and equal to 35 minutes of kick boxing.
  7. Hot Chocolate – 12-ounce serving is 320 calories and equal to 60 minutes of raking leaves.

To combat these extra calories, but still enjoy a nice beverage, you just have to make a healthier choice. Here are some suggestions to not let the holiday cheer get away from us:

  • Go for the lighter options such as, Light Eggnog, Lowfat Lattes, Sparkling Cider.
  • Substitute the milk in the drink to a low fat or skim milk instead of creams and high fat milk.
  • Drink lots of water before, after and during holiday beverages. You’ll find you won’t have as many if you are hydrated with water.
  • Plan ahead. Choose a holiday beverage instead of dessert. Or drink the beverage earlier in the day so you can work off the calories.
  • Avoid the alcohol. Order the drink as a virgin and save up to 100 calories per beverage. Plus, you’ll be a safe driver over the holiday season.
  • Skip the extras. Avoid the whipped topping, chocolate sauce, sprinkles or candy cane. Even go as far ahead and ask the barista to give fewer pumps of the flavored syrup.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of what you love. Enjoy your favorite, but limit the amounts you have over the season. One delicious drink here and there isn’t going to hurt too much.
  • Continue with your exercise routine over the holidays. You’ll find the little bit extra you consume over the season, won’t have too big of an effect on the scale.

If you’re sensible over the holidays you can enjoy the festivities without increasing you calorie intake too much. Happy Holidays and stay safe.

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Calorie Cutter

Cutting your calorie intake daily will help you lose the extra weight you may be carrying around. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories in a day through your activities than you consumed that day. If you’ve tried to accomplish this, you know it can be difficult. Dramatic changes to your diet may seem unreasonable, undoable and unfathomable. Simple every day choices, that really don’t change the menu too much can seem almost effortless but can make a big enough difference. Cutting 50 calories a day can equal a ½ a pound a month. Or try 100 calories a day to lose a full pound each month. That may not seem like much, but when you add exercise to that, it can make a huge difference in weight loss.

Here are 10 simple ways to cut calories:

  1. Invest in some good quality cooking utensils to help reduce the amount of fat needed in cooking. Try heavy non-stick frying pans and heavy baking tray.
  2. Throw away any high fat items and replace them with healthier low calorie options.
  3. Use cooking oil spray instead of pouring oil in the pan when frying or browning foods.
  4. Skip the butter. Use low calorie peanut butter or jam on toast or a light mayonnaise on your sandwiches instead.
  5. Grill, steam, bake or poach. Eliminate the frying as much as possible.
  6. Add natural seasonings to your foods. Try herbs, spices, citrus juices, vinegar and low calories sauces like Worcester and Soy.
  7. Make sure you have plenty of variety in your diet so that you don’t become bored and give into unhealthy cravings.
  8. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. If you feel hungry when you shop, you are more likely to give into temptation and buy something that is high in fat and calories to satisfy your immediate cravings.
  9. Eat smaller portions of high-fat foods (meats, cheeses) and larger portions of vegetables, salad, fruit and very low-fat protein foods (yogurt, skim milk).
  10. Stop drinking soda and juice. Choose water instead. Water is a great to help you feel full longer and helps curb your cravings.

Remember that slow and steady is the way to lose weight and keep it off. Using these simple calorie cutting ideas does not require you to drastically change your lifestyle. With healthy substitutions and cutting out a few things from our diet, we can make some big changes on our waist line. Talk to your dietician or personal trainer, they can get you on the right track as well and offer some other helpful suggestions. Get cutting!

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