On average, an individual will gain an extra 2 lbs. during the holiday season. These tips can help you have a healthful holiday season.
Don’t Gobble ‘til you Wobble…do the “Turkey Trot”
Often times around the holidays we build our social events around eating. We sit and take in more food in one meal than we normally would. For some people, this occurs multiple times in one day to make sure that they can see all family. Consider eating smaller portions at these meals and then going for a walk as a family after the meal. Go for a walk around the house, down the street, or take a “Turkey Trot” through your neighborhood. The whole point of these experiences is to spend time with your family, so think about ways you can socialize without excess food.
Consider these food swaps and substitutions for holiday meals:
*Try a veggie platter with yogurt dips in-stead of high, full-fat dips. Creating veggie dips or chip dips with Greek yogurt is a spectacular way to change up a classic without much of the taste difference. Also, consider using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Whether it is used as a topping or cooked in a favorite dish, Greek yogurt is a great
replacement for sour cream. Greek yogurt has 1/3 the calories of sour cream and hardly any fat.
*Enjoy the “cheer” of the holidays without the extra calories from alcohol. Consider making wine spritzers (adding club soda or Sprite/7Up to wine of your choice) in lieu of a tall glass of wine. On average, a 5 oz. glass of wine contains 100-120 calories. A white wine spritzer with 4 oz. of wine topped off with club soda is approximately 80 calories. Although this may not seem like a big enough deal to make the switch, consider the calorie increase over just two and a half weeks during the holiday season. One 5 oz. glass of wine a day for two and a half weeks adds up to approximately 1700 extra calories! Those calories equate to approximately a 1/2 pound of body fat.
*Consider swapping out white flour rolls for whole wheat rolls. Whole wheat and whole grains are high in fiber and protein and do not convert to glucose in the body as fast as whole grains. In addition, eating whole grains help keep the body feeling fuller longer.
*Forget the casserole and indulge in fresh green beans! Only for the holidays is it common to take a healthy food and coat it in a cream-of-something. Try leaving out the casserole and just eat the green beans (or any greens) steamed or lightly seasoned. This is a healthy alternative and there won’t be ANOTHER casserole to cram into the oven!
*Swap out the candied yams for roasted sweet potatoes. Fundamentally, these two dishes are the same, hence the taste does not change. However, the number of calories one can save from not melting butter and marshmallows is significant!
*Think about low-fat alternatives. If gravy must be part of the holiday spread, consider getting low-fat gravy. Other low-fat items to substitute at your holiday gatherings include low-fat whipped topping for pies, margarine instead of butter, low-fat mayonnaise and other low-fat dairy items.
Is there a healthy swap out that you swear by for your seasonal preparations? Share your tips below!