Save on calories this holiday season...

by Betsy Ramirez, MED, RDN
Stripes Okinawa

Save on calories this holiday season …

It’s a proven fact that many of us gain weight during the holidays. It’s just not as much as you may think. Several studies found that on average holiday weight gain is around 1 pound. However, those who are already overweight are more likely to gain more.

Paying attention to what is going on your plate can help you stay on track during the holiday season. Using smaller plates, eating before you go to a party, bringing a healthier side dish, and drinking water are some strategies that can prove successful before the party starts. Having a strategy for what is served on the table is just as important as what you choose. Swap out higher-calorie options for lighter alternatives to save.


… Or eat as many sweets as you want! (Story by Statepoint)

As the holidays approach, you’re probably starting to think about ways to make the season a little bit sweeter for friends and family. After all, it’s the perfect time of year to indulge your sweet tooth.

Here are some fun, festive and tasty ideas to sweeten your holiday traditions and make them unforgettable, from the holiday experts at See’s Candies.

Candy Bar
Dedicate a section of your holiday party buffet to sweet treats, chocolates, candy and hot chocolate. Don’t forget to have small goodie bags available so guests can take some of the sweetness home with them.

Stocking Stuffers
While you will most likely purchase personalized gifts for each member of your family, you can also amp up their stockings with candy full of holiday cheer. One delicious seasonal choice is See’s Candies North Pole Delights Gift Box, which includes milk chocolate balls, molasses chips and rich dark chocolate.

Hostess Gifts
You will likely be attending many gatherings and parties this holiday season. Make sure you don’t arrive empty-handed. A box of chocolates in a keepsake holiday-themed tin makes for a convenient and wonderful host or hostess gift. In fact, having several on hand in your home is a great idea for easy gift-giving all season long, especially for last-minute gifts when you realize you’ve forgotten something for the mailman, your babysitter or your child’s teacher.

Goodies for Santa
A favorite holiday tradition for many is leaving something sweet for Santa. This year, make Santa’s night by leaving him something extra yummy, such as See’s Candies Christmas Peanut Brittle. Don’t forget the milk!

See’s Candies offers a variety of over 100 different candies and chocolates, which are made using only the best ingredients. You can find See’s at holiday gift center locations in major malls nationwide or at

For more holiday ideas, visit @SeesCandies on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

With a few sweet, festive touches to your holiday traditions, you can make this holiday season one to remember.

1. Drinks  

  • Swap 1 cup of egg nog = 220 calories
  • For 1 cup of champagne =180 calories

2. Dips

  • Swap sour cream = 300 calories
  • For Greek yogurt = 90 calories

3. Casseroles  

  • Swap green bean casserole = 80 calories per . cup
  • For freshly cooked green beans = 38 calories per cup

4. Chips

  • Swap 1 ounce of tortilla chips =142 calories per ounce
  • For veggies = 30 calories per 1 cup serving

5. Potatoes

  • Swap 1/2 cup of sweet potato casserole = 150 calories
  • For 1/2 cup of roasted sweet potatoes = 60 calories per serving

6. Cheesecake

  • Swap cheesecake = 400 calories a slice
  • For 1 cup of fruit with 1 tablespoon of Strawberry Cheesecake Dip =100 calories

Savings: 300 calories

What are your favorite healthy alternatives for holiday dining? Let us know at

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content