Diet Detours: Holiday Party Do's and Don'ts

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November 25, 2013 3:05:29 PM PST
Throughout the month of December many of us will be faced with endless tables of holiday appetizers. Those little bites can quickly add up over 1,000 calories.

But there are some things you can do to avoid a "Diet Detour."

Nutritionist Katie Cavuto says to avoid a complete snack attack at the buffet table, eat healthy throughout the day.

"Skipping meals in anticipation of parties is the worst thing you can do," says Katie.

She also says try not to park yourself near the food table - all that nibbling can quickly add up to thousands of extra calories.

Every holiday party always has veggies and dip. But as Katie explains, "We think that this is a healthy option but as soon as the dip comes into play..."

You hit your first diet detour.

A half cup of creamy spinach dip has over 400 calories. Instead hit the chip bowl and scoop up some salsa for 150 calories.

Next up is the battle of the puffed pastries - mini hotdogs versus mini quiche.

3 mini quiche pack 250 calories. Instead, snack on 3 pigs in a blanket to save 100 calories.

Now to a staple on everyone's party table - mini meatballs up against mini crab cakes.

Katie tells us, "You would think with the crab cake the mayo would put this over the top calorically."

But the crab cakes get our green light with 100 calories. While the mini meatballs steer you off course with over 150 extra calories.

I am going to call this one the stuffed snack showdown! We are talking deviled eggs versus stuffed mushrooms.

Katie says deviled eggs can be deceiving with 150 calories in two halves. But with a vegetable based stuffed mushroom, you can grab two for 100 calories.

"Once we add sausage or creamy bases to our stuffed mushrooms they can both end up being detours."

Cheese and crackers are party staples, but noshing on too much cheese adds up.

"An ounce of cheese averages out to be about 100 to 130 calories," says Katie. " Your best bet is actually a quarter cup of olives which is around 40 calories."

Now for the cocktail challenge!

Katie says holiday drinks can put you in the detour zone...fast. A glass of champagne gets her green light with just 80 calories. Grab a glass of wine and drink an extra 40 calories per glass.

Love it or hate it, Egg Nog tends to be at most holiday functions...and it is our last detour. One glass has 250 calories.

Katie tells us to, "Do something a bit more simple, like a spiked apple cider, and it comes in at a 150 calories."

However, below is a recipe Katie gave us for a low-calorie, dairy-free and egg-free egg nog.

Eggless Eggnog

- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 4 cups of almond milk, unsweetened (see below to make your own)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or grated fresh)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine and serve. Rum optional.

DIY Almond Milk: Soak 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds with 4 cups of water (overnight). Puree in a high-performance blender until milky. Serve as is or strain.


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