Health and Fitness

Here's What Typical Filipino Holiday Food Cost You in Calories

Just in case you've been wondering.
IMAGE Pixabay

While it's tough to deliver some disheartening news right at the start of a new year, but what follows is just empirical data, numbers devoid of feelings. How you feel about what these numbers, or in this case calories, is a matter of perspective.

In case you feel bad, let us be the first ones to assure you, it’s all your fault. And you’re not alone.

Truth is, there’s no blame in feasting during the holidays, because heck, it’s the holidays. But all those feasts combined will come with a price your belly will eventually have to pay. Here’s a guide to help you compute the running tally of your holiday binge:

Christmas ham (85 g, or one thin slice)
120-130 calories*

Queso de bola / Edam cheese (28 g, one thin slice)
101 calories

Lechon (100 g) 
ranges from 242 (no skin, lean part) to 376 calories

Leche flan (½ cup or 153 g)
about 223 to 266 calories, depending on ingredients used


Food for the gods (one cubic inch, or 44 g)
ranges from 175 to 181 calories

Ensaymada (one small bun)
from 270 up to 440 calories depending on brand and variant

Champagne (one glass)
from 78 to 95 calories 

Red wine (one glass)
126 calories, average on all varieties under 10% alcohol category**

Beer (one bottle, 330 ml)
ranges from 100 calories (light beer), 140 calories (the tito favorite pale pilsen), or above 220 calories for stronger variants

Spaghetti with meat sauce (one cup)
ranges from 392 to 421 calories depending on ingredients and toppings used.

Fruit salad*** (around 200 g)
around 210 calories based on ingredients used

Pork barbecue (one stick) 
111 calories (lean meat, small slices) up

Soda (330 ml)
140 calories

Rice (one cup, white short-grain) 
130 calories

(*varies depending on whether ham is honeyglazed or not)  
(**Source: Other sources include,
(***The typical Filipino fruit salad made using fruit cocktail in can, cream, and condensada, not the fresh fruit type)

That’s just one serving of each Filipino holiday staple. But who eats just one serving of everything at a party? You can bet that you'll probably go over 2,000 calories every day during peak holiday season. With party season kicking in mid-December to early January, multiply that estimate by the number of parties you went to, and do the math. Fair warning: You’ll probably end up with tens of thousands of reasons to work out to atone for your gustatory sins.

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About The Author
Omar Glenn D. Belo
Omar Belo was formerly the managing editor of sports website Prior to that, he was the managing editor at Men's Health Philippines.
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