Holiday Portion Control: Drinks & Desserts

Eating during the holidays can be tough if you’re trying to stay on a diet, or if you’re worried about eating too much. Since portion sizes have gotten out of control in the past couple of decades, it can be hard to judge how much you should be eating. When looking at the following tables, be sure to remember to eat proper portion sizes. Visit www.MyPyramid.gov for more information on a balanced diet and good nutrition.

Drinks & Desserts

Here’s the tricky part to navigate. Since these are usually readily available at any party tables or serving platters, it can be easy to lose track of how much you actually eat. Make a single pass and figure out which desserts are the most appealing to you. Then, only eat the ones that are most important to you. Serving sizes are important to keep in mind when figuring out holiday nutrition:

Drink Serving Size   Dessert Serving Size
Wine 4 oz   Cookies 2 in cookie
Water 8 oz   Cake 2 inch piece
Beer 12 oz   Pie 2 inch slice
Soda 12 oz   Candy Typically, 1 piece

Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Waist Size

  1. Weight and fat are not equal. How much you weigh and how much fat you have stored on your body are not the same, and can represent very different things. See this Today Show video on “Skinny Fat”
  2. More weight can be better in the right cases.  Bone and muscle weigh more than fat. A female that’s 5’4” weighs 145 lbs. can actually be much healthier than a female of the same height weighing 120 lbs. since the heavier female may have greater amounts of muscle and bone density.
  3. Ratios are the way to go. Calculating the ratio of weight to height is called your Body Mass Index, or BMI, Many studies have shown that a BMI greater than 25 increases a person’s chances of developing heart disease or cancer; especially more so after it increases above 30.
  4. Fat is different in different places. Excess fat on the waist and chest can increase the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, in comparison to those who have excess weight on the hips and thighs. Normal waist size in circumference for women is less than 35 inches and less than 40 inches for men.
  5. You can control your weight. Burn more calories than you consume, to put it simply. Exercising moderately for 30 minutes, four to six days a week will help you keep your weight under control.  
  6. Build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. When exercising, it’s important to include some form of muscle strengthening at least twice a week.

During the holiday’s, it is important not to completely forget about yout nutrition. However, don’t restrict yourself too much. It will make for a stressful holiday season!


Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Can Do For Food Safety

  1. Wash, wash, wash. Whether it’s your hands, your dishes, or your countertops, washing goes a long way towards keeping your kitchen safe.
  2. Keep raw foods away from other foods. Not only should you make sure all your raw foods are away from your cooked foods, but try not to share utensils between those two groups, either wash things like pots and pans between uses, or have designated utensils. For instance, maybe instead of using the same cloth towel to clean up after your foods, use paper towels for raw foods to prevent bacteria from spreading.
  3. Pick up cold foods last. When grocery shopping, save the frozen and cold food aisles for last. This gives you the longest amount of time to ensure that your foods stay in the safe temperature ranges before you can store them properly at home.
  4. Keep the good cans. Don’t buy canned goods with dents or bulges in them. Those nooks and crannies are safe-havens for bacteria to grow and multiply.
  5. Remember the Three C’s. When transporting food, keep your food clean, cold and covered whenever possible. When foods are left out in temperatures over 90°F for an hour or more, you can be sure bacteria has already started to grow.
  6. Be safe when dining out. Make sure the utensils and plates are clean. Inspect the plates for crack and crevices if necessary. Those cracks can hide bacteria in them.