No wonder the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. A traditional holiday meal — such as turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, wine and all the fixings – contains an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 calories, and 229 grams of fat per serving. That’s more calories and fat than adults should have in an entire day.
More troubling, most of us never lose that extra weight, says Leah Groppo, R.D, a nutritionist with the Cardio-Metabolic Program at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. Over the years, accumulated holiday weight gain can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.
Groppo says the holidays are a tough time for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight, for a few reasons. There’s the delicious holiday food, of course. But also, “the holidays bring up lots of food traditions people associate with comfort and family. It’s really hard to stick to a healthy diet in the face of dishes made with love by mom or grandma.”
But you don’t have to skip your favorite holiday food to stay healthy. Instead, follow this advice from Groppo to celebrate the holidays without weight gain.