The holidays can be a ticking time bomb for people who truly want to eat healthy.
Here are some tips for making the right choices, without ruining your holiday experience. (After all, who wants to eat literally one bite of everything? There’s no enjoyment in that!)
- Find a new place to socialize. Lots of chatting tends to happen around tables of hors d’oeuvres. Avoid the temptation to mindlessly snack by sitting down with a glass of water and conservative plate of veggies.
- Don’t waste too many (empty) calories on liquids. Wine is a good choice, but not if you drink the entire bottle. Skim milk and water are other good choices, but avoid the eggnog unless it’s a low-fat version.
- Be realistic. Instead of trying to lose weight during the holidays, just strive to maintain. It’s okay if it takes you one or two more weeks to reach your weight loss goals as long as you plan it.
- Make exercise one of your holiday rituals. Spend an hour on cardio and weights at the gym, take an exercise class, bike with a friend, run a race, or (at the very least) take a brisk walk for 30+ minutes. Walking after dinner is not such a bad idea either. The idea is to increase your metabolism.
- Don’t skip meals the day of the big feast. Instead, try to eat protein and whole grains, which will help you feel full longer and will prevent your body from going into starvation fat-packing mode.
- Add more holiday traditions that are not focused around food, such as Christmas caroling, craft making, playing games, taking a walking tour of the neighborhood, or watching holiday movies.
- Practice simple cooking tips to cut the fat out of your favorite recipes. For instance:
- Refrigerate the gravy and skim off the solidified fat to cut 56 grams of fat per cup!
- Add more garlic, celery and vegetables to your stuffing. Add fruits.
- Moisten your stuffing with low-fat chicken broth or applesauce.
- Remove the skin from your turkey to cut 11 grams of saturated fat.
- Use skim milk, chicken broth and garlic instead of whole milk and butter on your potatoes.
- Use evaporated skim milk on desserts instead of heavy cream.
- Aim for two-thirds of your plate to be filled with vegetables.
- If you’re bringing a dish to pass, make sure it’s a healthy dish.
- Consider a light, fluffy dessert like angelfood cake with strawberries.
Image by ~Merete