Americans gain an average of 1 pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, one study shows. Sedentary people put on 1 and one-half pounds; those who are more active lose 1 and one-half pounds.
We asked three nutritionists to tally the calories in some holiday indulgences, then calculate how much activity it takes for a 165-pound person to burn them off:
Holiday cocktail party
- Two glasses of red wine
- Five shrimp in cocktail sauce
- Six crackers topped with cheese spread
- 1 piece of fudge
Burn it off: Jog for at least 20 minutes three days or chase reindeer through woods for that long.
- Eggs Benedict
- Apple cider
Burn it off: Ice skate for 1 hour on two days.
- Two slices of ham
- Sweet-potato casserole (1 serving)
- Green beans
- 2 rolls with butter
- 1 slice pumpkin pie with whipped cream
- Mulled wine
Burn it off: Jog for 20 minutes for seven days.
- Two potato pancakes (latkes) topped sour cream and applesauce
- 1 doughnut
- 1 glass of sweet wine
Burn it off: Work hard for three hours – preparing and cooking food (grate potatoes, etc.), cleaning dishes, setting table, scrubbing and cleaning kitchen and dining area.
Breakfast on busy shopping day
- A bagel with cream cheese
- Large hot cocoa
Burn it off: Walk briskly (3.5 miles an hour) outside for at least 2 and one-half hours or jog around the neighborhood looking at holiday lights for 30 minutes on three days.
Nibbling on leftover desserts
- 1 sliver of pecan pie
- 1 piece peanut brittle
- 2 pieces of dark chocolate
- 1 cup of coffee with chocolate liqueur
Burn it off: Do a yoga or Pilates class or DVD for at least 50 minutes. Great for burning calories and relieving holiday stress and tension.
- Gin and tonic
- One-half cup mashed potatoes
- Dinner roll
- Piece of fudge
Burn it off: Power walk around the mall (about 4 mph) for at least 1 and one-half hours.
- 4 ounces eggnog
- 2 sugar cookies
- 9 Hershey kisses
Burn it off: Go sledding with the kids for an hour.
Couch potato snack
- 2 cans beer
- 2 ounces chips
- One-quarter cup onion dip
Burn it off: Play touch football for 70 minutes.
ON THE WEB
For healthful recipes and menus, plus more advice from our bloggers, visit dietchallenge.usatoday.com