Holiday eating can make it hard to maintain a healthy weight or to keep up with a weight loss plan. At the workplace, at friends’ houses, at family’s houses and even at home there tends to be more temptation around the holidays compared to any other time of the year. In fact, there are usually so many high calorie, high fat but great tasting foods around that it’s tough to always say no. If you’re serious about finding ways to control holiday eating this year, consider trying one or more of the following techniques.
1. Replace Favorite Desserts with Low Fat Alternatives
You don’t have to give up all the joy of holiday foods just because you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You can still indulge in your favorite flavors as long as you make a couple of small adjustments. For example, instead of purchasing pies and cakes, consider making them yourself. This way you can limit the fat and sugars in the desserts by replacing some of the butter with apple sauce, or by eliminating butter crust on a pie and using graham crackers as the crust instead.
If you will be buying holiday treats, try to find low fat and sugar free versions because this will save you quite a bit of calories, fat, cholesterol and sugar. You can also try other versions of your favorite holiday foods, such as choosing a cake made with real berries as opposed to chocolate, buying sorbet instead of ice cream or using fat free whipped cream to top cakes and pies instead of frosting.
2. Limit Your Intake
If you know you will be indulging in rich holiday meals, then plan for it. For example, if you know you’ll be attending a party where rich food is more than likely to be offered, plan to eat no sweets or fatty foods the day before or the day after so that you can indulge at the party. This helps to alleviate any guilt or uneasiness about the situation and allows you some freedom so you don’t have to feel deprived throughout the holiday season.
3. Embrace the Healthier Side
Holiday eating doesn’t have to be all about junk food, especially when it comes to mealtimes. Big meals are the norm for most families on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but most of the time vegetables and fruits play a small roe in the event compared to other foods found at the table.
This year consider trying multiple different salads as your side dishes. They don’t all have to be lettuce based salads, and they don’t all have to be cold for that matter. Couscous salads, bean salads, fruit salads and sprout salads are all good choices.
Experiment with different ingredients in order to find dishes you love and ask others to bring their own favorite versions of a salad. To cut even more calories and fat, swap out the white breads and pastas with whole wheat versions and stick with skinless white meat when possible.