The Holiday season is just around the corner and people are preparing for the most special time of the year when they can spend more time with family and friends in a festive setting. Sadly, for many it also becomes a time for overeating and weight gain. As reported by the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year.
However, the Holidays don't have to mean weight gain. All you have to do is concentrate on a healthy balance of food, activity, and obviously lots fun. Also, just by implementing a few simple tips you can surely eat and stay healthy through the Holiday season.
So check out some simple tips we have listed below for a healthy Holiday eating:
- Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, but try to maintain your current weight.
- Exercise as it will help you relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partly counterbalance increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.
- Try not to skip meals. So, before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite - you will be less tempted to over-eat.
- Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite ones. Add more vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Always eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Enjoy your favorite Holiday treats while eating small portions.
- Careful with the beverages – as alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; and, non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
- In case you overeat at one meal, make sure to go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is obviously impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie.
- It’s a great idea to bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
Consider practicing healthy Holiday cooking. Keep in mind that preparing your favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Therefore, incorporate some of the following easy-cooking tips in your traditional holiday recipes in order to make them healthier. Here’s what you can do:
- Gravy: refrigerate the gravy to harden fat and then skim the fat off. Guess what? This will save a massive 56 gm of fat per cup.
- Dressing: choose to use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits like cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
- Turkey: eat the tasty, roasted turkey breast without the skin and you’ll save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
- Green Bean Casserole: opt for cooking fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Then, top with almonds instead of fried onion rings. This way you’ll still have a delicious dish only a healthier version of it.
- Mashed Potatoes: using skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese is a much better choice than whole milk and butter.
For the special dessert consider making a crust-less pumpkin pie. You can opt for substituting two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Also, replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Additionally, topping cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar will turn out to be a much better idea than a fattening frosting.
And when the Holidays finally arrive, try to enjoy every moment. Just remember to incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals, and don't restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite Holiday foods - in the long run, your mind and body will thank you for heaving a healthy relationship with your food.
Happy Holidays! ☺