Eat, drink and be wary

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

Despite our unusually warm temperatures, the holidays have indeed arrived — and with them, the traditional and long-awaited festive parties. While it is always a joy to celebrate with family and friends, and prepare recipes that we reserve for just this time of year, a modicum of forethought can help ward off those extra pounds with which we always seem to be faced come Jan. 1.

It’s easy to lull ourselves into a false sense of security, telling ourselves that one more cookie, one more cup of eggnog, or one more slice of pie won’t really matter…and yet the truth of the matter is that calories ingested during the holidays are no different than those we enjoy throughout the year. Holidays or not, we still need to be vigilant about balance.

Here is a list of common holiday treats and the activities required to burn off those calories, as compiled by a dietician:

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• Peanut brittle (1.5 ounces) – 207 calories

Activity: Run for 15 minutes at 6 miles per hour.

• Iced sugar cookies (Three medium one-ounce cookies with icing) – 530 calories

Activity: Ice skate for 56 minutes.

• Gingerbread men (Two medium) – 330 calories

Activity: Walk briskly for an hour.

• Fruitcake (A 3-ounce slice) – 276 calories

Activity: Shop for or return gifts for an hour and a half.

• Eggnog (One cup) – 224 calories

Activity: Do household chores for 47 minutes

• Hot chocolate (One cup made with 2% milk) – 210 calories

Activity: Do yoga for 44 minutes.

• Mulled wine, (One cup) – 210 calories

Activity: Work on hanging Hanukkah decorations for half an hour.

This year, be smart about your indulgences. Enjoy a little – or a lot – and then grab your workout clothes!

Cathleen Kronemer is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center.