Shop Smart for Healthy Holidays: Plan your menu to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Consult the nutrition label on the back of the item to choose foods rich in nutrients, lower in fat, calories, and sugar. Reduce the amount or choose low fat, if you plan to add nuts, cheese, gravy, butter, and whipped cream.
Substitute with low calorie ingredients when planning your meal: There are many low calorie, tasty alternatives that can be used to substitute. For instance, many holiday recipes, ask for eggs, use two egg whites in place of one whole egg. Cooking with cheese? Try a reduce-fat brand, you won’t miss the calories! Choose for low calorie alternatives when adding gravy or sauces to your meal. Most heavy cream sauces can be replaced with low calorie delicious ones. Try Grilled pork chops served with a mango salsa. White sauce which is used as the basis for so many classic sauces is traditionally made using butter and flour, you can substitute using low fat natural yogurt or half fat creme faiche in place of cream. Try using ricotta or low fat fromage frais or other low fat substitutes instead of full fat cream cheeses in a sauce. Simple swapping of ingredients are easy ways to reduce the calories in a meal and no one will even notice the difference.
Roast or Grill for Rich Flavor With Fewer Calories: Roasting or grilling meat, seafood, vegetables, and potatoes is easy. Roasted sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and a spritz of butter are a delicious substitute for the traditional calorie-laden casserole.
Eat & enjoy! Before you have the holiday gathering and meal, eat a light snack of egg with toast or yogurt and a slice of apple. Most appetizers tend to be loaded with fat and calories and they look so delicious it is easy to over eat them before the meal. With a light snack beforehand, you will be ready for the seasonal festivities and might just avoid the appetizers all together!
Serve Low Calorie Healthier Desserts: What about pumpkin pie with fat-free whipped cream, now that is a healthy alternative, if you make it, use non-fat evaporated milk. Chocolate-dipped strawberries can be a colorful and delicious dessert alternative to a heavy chocolate, creamy cake and ice-cream and will be enjoyed just as much!
Drink Moderately: Enjoy non-alcoholic drinks between alcoholic beverages. Avoid eggnog and other holiday beverages that are filled with calories. Offer plenty of low-calorie drinks such as, diet soda, sparkling water, and juice. You’ll stay hydrated and still enjoy the holiday fun.
Active Holiday Gatherings: You can celebrate the holidays in many ways and is not just about food. You can be active indoors as wells as with activities outdoors. The sky is the limit outside, you can take a family stroll, show off your hometown, organize a snowball fight, snowman contest, a family to family football game. Indoors, try charades, games, dancing to funky holiday music. Everyone will boost their energy and not feel slugish after the holiday meal.
Keep these tips in mind to help you get through the holidays without gaining the unnecessary weight. And if by chance you do splurge, don’t beat yourself up, the experts say. Just make sure to get back to your normal eating and exercising routine when the festivities are over. And for the New Year, you can always try a healthier approach and diet to maintain till the next holiday arrives.
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