Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –

Though America is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, a common thread in the United States rings true: high-calorie foods are part of the holiday festivities this time of year. Take heed and reduce your portions or look for healthier alternatives to these calorie-laden favorites…if you want to fit into your clothes in 2016, that is.

Below are the approximate calorie counts of some popular items you may consider having this holiday season:


  1. Macadamia Nuts 718 calories1/100 grams (203 calories/ounce)

 These rounded nuts from Australia and Hawaii pack a mammoth amount of calories because they contain such a high concentration of fat.

  1. Mixed nuts600 calories/100 grams

 Any combination of mixed nuts, dry or roasted, still has around the same amount of calories.

  1. Chocolate, Fudge and Toffee 550 calories1/100 grams (180 calories/ounce)

True confections, such as these soft or solid treats, each have an abundance of calories.

  1. Foie Gras/Pate 462 calories1/100 grams (131 calories/ounce)

This canned spread of duck or goose liver is loaded with calories

  1. Coconut Macaroons460 calories/100 grams

 These haystack shaped cookies are mostly fat and sugar, especially if marzipan is used.

  1. Pastries (top four)311 calories/100 grams to 430 calories/100 grams

 The top four calorie packed pastries are Nut Danishes, French Crullers, Cheese-filled Danishes and Fruit Danishes.

  1. Prime Rib411 calories1/100 grams (349 calories/3 ounce serving)

 This rich meat is frequently served at holiday feasts.


This Could be Your Fitness Answer to Surviving Holiday Buffets and Potlucks


  1. Crème Brûlée 350 calories/100 grams

 A decadent treat, this torched dessert with cream, caramelized sugar and eggs is as rich as they come. Portions may vary depending on the size of the soufflé dish or ramekin used.

  1. Beef Wellington305 calories/100 grams

This dish is a combination of puff pastry and filet mignon, topped with a rich sauce.

  1. Fried Hash or Latkes 265 calories1/100 grams

These potato preparations run high in calories due to the fat they are fried in.

  1. Mixed Drinks 250 calories1/4.5 fl. oz.

 Drinks that contain cream liquor or fruit syrups, such as Piña Coladas and Daiquiris, are especially heavy in calories.

  1. Eggnog88 calories1/100 grams (224 calories/1 cup serving)

 The calories count for this holiday classic rises above this total when alcohol is added.

  1. Bread Pudding or Kugel200 calories/½ cup

If you have these cream and starch sides as breakfast entrées, the serving size and calorie count will be higher.

  1. Popovers/Yorkshire Pudding150 calories/cupcake-sized serving

The calorie count for this whipped combination of flour, eggs and milk is put over the top by the shortening, butter or grease used in the pans.

  1. Beef Gravy (homemade) 145 calories/¼ cup

The final product would be closer to 800 calories1/100 grams if you include meat drippings (and you don’t skim off most of it, then dilute the remainder of gravy with water, flour/cornstarch, seasoning and sometimes wine).


Enjoy Holiday Foods and Lose Weight? Your 3-Step Strategy to Avoid Extra Calories at Holiday Parties!


  1. Au Gratin Potatoes 132 calories1/100 grams (166 calories/½ cup serving)

This cheesy and creamy side, cousin to scalloped potatoes, is richer than macaroni and cheese.

  1. Hollandaise Sauce 160 calories/2 Tablespoons

The small bit of lemon juice is the only nutritional saving grace for this traditional egg yolk and butter based sauce.

  1. Deviled Eggs 128 calories/2 halves

Adding mayonnaise to the richest part of the egg, the yolk, brings the energy level above that of a plain hard cooked egg, with 100 calories coming from fat.

  1. Cheese Ball 100 calories/2 Tablespoons

It’s easy to keep digging away at one of these nut-coated spreadable delights.

  1. Cream Cheese Based Dip 100 calories/2 Tablespoons

This popular holiday dip is often served warm or with pepper jelly. You can also try the spinach and artichoke variety to save yourself 30 calories.

Think vegetable hors d’oeuvres are healthier?  They may be, but not as much as you may think. Each mouthful of a hot cheesy jalapeño popper has at least 70 calories; more if they are deep fried and less if they are baked. Depending on the size and fillings, stuffed mushrooms can have as much as 65 calories each.  It’s easy to lose track of calories when you can eat these in a pop!

Choose from these safer bets if you want to eat guilt-free this holiday season: chestnuts, sauerkraut, black-eyed peas, greens, Brussels sprouts, crudités, fish, shrimp, lobster, oysters, caviar, skinless poultry, plain popcorn, figs, pears, tangerines, and sparkling cider.

1 USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

For more great TOP TIPS be sure to come back every week and follow LIVING HEALTHY. To learn how CLICK HERE or go to

1 USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28



Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This