Here’s a stat that’ll scare you away from the holiday buffet table: Studies show the average person consumes an extra 600 calories a DAY between Halloween and New Year’s – which means you’ll be starting 2010 with an extra seven pounds of belly fat! So if you want to avoid packing on the pounds, here are some of the worst holiday foods you can eat – and what to have instead, from Rodale Publishing:

  • We’ll start with the worst holiday drink: It’s Eggnog! One serving contains 350 calories – that’s the same number of calories as an order of Triple Layer Nachos from Taco Bell! So what should you drink instead? For about a third of the calories, have some homemade hot chocolate, and if you’re ordering your hot chocolate from a coffee shop, get the smallest size – and ask for non-fat milk and NO whipped cream.
  • What about the worst holiday appetizer? Stay away from the crab cakes. It’s not just crabmeat – it’s mayo, breadcrumbs, and fried in a vat of fatty, bubbling oil. A single crab cake can contain 400 calories! You’d have to shovel snow for about an hour to burn that off! Instead, choose the shrimp with cocktail sauce**.** One shrimp dipped in sauce is only 20 calories. If you ate half a dozen, it’d take less than 30 minutes of brisk walking to burn them off.
  • Let’s move on to the worst holiday dip: It’s crab dip. You’ve got to stay away from the crab cakes AND the crab dip! One serving of crab dip can contain 372 calories and 37 grams of fat! That’s more calories than a Burger King Cheeseburger - and more fat than a Burger King DOUBLE Cheeseburger! So instead, dip your chip in bean dip. A two tablespoon serving has 25 calories and zero grams of fat.
  • What about the worst holiday dessert? It’s a slice of pecan pie a la mode. It contains over 800 calories, and it’d take about an hour and a half of skiing to burn that off! What should you have instead? For less than HALF the calories, dip a few pieces of fruit or low-calorie angel food cake in chocolate fondue.