Avoiding Hidden Calories During the Holidays

It is very common knowledge that most people tend to over-indulge during holiday dinners. In my family, it’s almost a family tradition to make ourselves so full that we lay on the couches in a food coma after every meal.
There are so many yummy foods and it would be a waste to only eat one serving and not go back for seconds, or thirds, or fourths. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because I find myself doing it every year.
But this huge increase of extra calories has to be balanced out somehow.
You could kill yourself at the gym for the next three days, but that doesn’t really sound like fun. An easier way to create a deficit in your calorie intake during the days around a big holiday, like Christmas or New Years is to eliminiate some of the calories that you drink.
Most people call the calories in alcohol, sodas, coffee drinks, juices, and other beverages “empty calories,” because they do not offer a significant nutritional impact and they end up causing you to consume more calories than you think you are consuming.
Do you go to Starbucks most mornings for a pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha? These drinks pack quite a caloric punch. Try getting a coffee with low-fat milk and sugar-free syrup or a peppermint mocha made with skim milk instead of whole. Or try swapping out drink mixers for plain soda water or diet soda. Just make sure you also drink a glass of water alongside your cocktail to slow down your drinking pace and to reduce the dehydrating effects of a hangover.
Avoiding empty calories in drinks during the holidays will help balance out the surplus of calories in those tasty dinners. I am not suggesting anything drastic, but one day with diet soda, low-fat cream in your coffee, or water instead of other drinks is not too big of a sacrifice, especially when you consider the mashed potatoes and gravy, ham, green bean casserole, and dessert that you will be enjoying the next day.