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Avoiding excessive holiday weight gain

By: Sue Hite

Date Posted: 2001-11-15

One of the hallmarks of the holiday season is festive food loaded with fat and calories. Why not enjoy it? After all, your new year’s resolution begins in January, right? But perhaps those holiday pounds are getting harder and harder to shed. You may still be carrying weight gained last year. Is there any way to avoid it? Absolutely! But it takes a bit of planning on your part.

Here are some tips and recipes to help you cut some of the fat, not all the flavor, from a few of the most popular holiday items. First we focus on MEATS.

When choosing turkey, remember that the dark meat contains twice as much fat as the light meat. Take a look:

Roasted turkey meat – 4 ounces - Dark meat (8 grams of fat)

Light “ (4 grams of fat)

If you eat the skin, add an additional, 4-6 grams of fat. Perhaps the meat is prime rib? How does it compare? Prime rib – 4 ounces – 35 grams of fat! Remember that a three-ounce portion is the size of a deck of cards. So a four-ounce portion is a bit larger. Ham is another popular holiday entrée. Lean ham generally averages no more than five to six grams of fat per four ounce serving. Canned ham, however, may yield 10-12 grams for the same serving size. Look at the food label on the package before purchasing.

The entrée you choose can make a tremendous difference in the total fat and calorie content of your meal. Why not save some calories for other menu items instead of “blowing” them all on the entrée? Happy holidays!

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