12/10/2012 10:14 am ET | Updated Feb 09, 2013

Fatty Musings: How To Manage Your Holiday Food Intake


It all starts with October, highlighted by Halloween. Whether you're 5 or 50, you're going to find a way to eat copious amounts of candy and take pictures of it on Instagram complaining about your "addiction."

Then October cascades into November, home to Thanksgiving, arguably the best foodie holiday around. It's Christmas without the headache of presents, just one culminating meal highlighted by mashed potatoes, spiral-baked ham, pumpkin pies, casseroles, turkey, and every comfort food imaginable.

Let's not forget these holidays are all traditionally littered with a fair amount of drinking, which has a strange tendency to induce binge eating and slow down metabolism. Once Thanksgiving is celebrated and November is over, December might as well be one month-long buffet. Between company holiday parties, family gatherings and the drink-a-thon that is New Years Eve, it's traditionally a terrible month to think about dieting.


To make matters interesting, I stumbled upon this Infographic put out by Rasmussen College earlier today that highlights this unhealthy stretch of three holiday months, they titled their piece "It's the Most Unhealthy Time of the Year -- Managing Your Holiday Food and Beverage Intake." It's actually a great point of reference for this discussion.

Some nutritional notes about common holiday foods

Apparently, if you consume three slices of holiday ham and a glass of eggnog, you'll exceed your daily fat intake. Here is some other depressing nutritional data on the food you might encounter during the holidays:


Tips for not gaining too much weight, but still not being a complete buzzkill

Like any self-respecting Infographic, it's not all diatribe on how we're going to gain 10 pounds with nothing we can do about it -- they round out their data with 7 "tips and tricks" for a healthy holiday. Some of them are great ideas, others are piss posh if you live that #foodbeast life:


  1. Shift the Focus Off Food -- Excuse me, shift the focus off of what now? People congregate over food, if you want to bake with your significant other, your parents, your children, do it.
  2. Be Realistic -- Some of the best advice of the entire graphic. Melancholy as it may seem, trying to lose weight during the holidays is a chore no one wants to do.
  3. Shop Till You Drop  -- Shopping burns calories, got it. Although, if you lack self control...heading into a mall almost always includes a pitstop through the food court for a Cinnabon. Chances are if you're burning calories while shopping, you'll end up getting some orange chicken and chow mein while you're at it.
  4. Cut Down Your Own Tree -- Ain't nothin' more manly then practicing your lumberjack skills, we approve.
  5. Pour the Gravy Lightly -- Low-key agree. While we're all about #foodbeasting, a little gravy often goes a long way...a light drizzle as suggested will usually elicit the same taste as a waterfall of the same substance.
  6. Manage Alcohol Consumption -- Alcohol is a poison, causes rifts in families, and slows down your metabolism. On the other hand, it has contributed to some of the most fun, crazy and regretful nights of our lives -- particularly over the Holiday season. Roll the dice on this one as you wish.
  7. Eat Before the Party -- You're bringing the cock-blocking chick that friend-zoned you to a swinger's party on this one...err...sand to the beach, whatever terrible line you like.

Not-so conclusion

We're all for eating well, but being conscious of your health is never a bad idea. Compensating for those extra holiday calories with some extra walking in the mall, hiking after opening presents on Christmas day and maybe some pickup basketball with your friends who're in town for the holidays.

If that's not your thing, you could just eat less. Your call. [/musing]
Infographic and Data by RasmussenCollege