Season's Eatings

How to count calories and dine responsibly during the holidays.

By: Dan Welden

Everyone loves holiday foods, but feasting blindly will only make you pack on those dreaded holiday pounds. It may seem like a total Grinch-like buzzkill, but an online calorie calculator like can help you keep track of your caloric intake all season long. 

Keep in mind, of course, that calorie counts are approximations because recipes can vary widely—especially if you cook like my grandma, who loves butter! But at least you’ll get a rough idea of how many calories are in each serving—and how much you’ll need to burn off when you finally come out of your food coma. 

No one expects you to eat chia seeds and kale this time of year, but you can enjoy every festive forkful while still keeping that waistline in check. When it comes to holiday feasting, light meat turkey is better than dark, and try to avoid helpings with large amounts of fat and skin. Don’t go crazy with the gravy, which pours on the extra calories. Also, stuffing is deadly, so if you’re saving room for pie, skip the extra carbs with your bird. As for those pies, pumpkin’s usually your best bet—as long as it’s not covered with whipped cream.

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean it’s OK to eat like it’s your last meal. Just practice portion control and don’t go back for seconds and thirds. There will always be more munchies to tempt you, and your mid-section will pay the price. Family meals aside, holiday parties are also a recipe for disastrous weight gain.

Remember: It may be the time of year to indulge, but moderation is key. Eat responsibly!


Dark meat, with skin (4 ounces) = 206 calories

Dark meat, without skin (4 ounces) = 183 calories

White meat, with skin (4 ounces) = 185 calories

White meat, without skin (4 ounces) = 158 calories


Cured ham (4 ounces) = 177–275 calories

Pork tenderloin (4 ounces) = 185–195 calories


Sweetened cranberry sauce, canned (1/2 cup) = 209 calories

Bread stuffing, dry mix, prepared (1 cup) = 356 calories

Dinner roll (1 roll) = 78 calories

Garlic toast (1 slice) = 160 calories

Gravy, average, all varieties (1/2 cup) = 43 calories

Mashed potatoes (1 cup) = 237 calories

Green bean casserole (1 cup) = 166 calories


Apple pie = 411 calories

Cherry pie = 486 calories

Pecan pie = 503 calories

Pumpkin pie = 316 calories


Red wine = 126 calories

White wine = 121 calories