Want to survive the holidays without sacrificing your diet? Are you worried about your weight? Most people gain a few pounds during this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should be one of them. With a little planning, you can avoid holiday weight gain and still enjoy delicious, homemade meals. When temptations are endless, portion control is the key. Being mindful of what you’re eating can go a long way towards limiting unnecessary calories.
Check out these simple ways to avoid holiday weight gain and look good in those family pictures:
Learn to cut calories without giving up your favorite foods. For example, if you want to have eggnog, look for low-fat or non-dairy versions. Pass on the whipped cream to avoid the extra sugar and fat. If you’re the host, make alcohol free eggnog to reduce calories by more than half. When shopping for apple cider, check the labels carefully. Opt for sugar free and low sugar options. You can even make cider at home using apple juice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cranberries.
Bring a Dish
Bring a dish or some healthy treats to the holiday buffet. This way, you’ll have something healthy to eat at the party. The host will be grateful too, so go ahead and put your cooking skills to use. Try delicious, healthy meals and snacks like vegetable casseroles, pumpkin pie pudding, ricotta semifreddo, orange cheesecake, spicy shrimp cakes, and liver pate.
Another simple way to prevent holiday weight gain is to avoid coming in contact with high-calorie foods at home or at work. If you keep a jar of candies on your desk, get rid of it. Clean your fridge and throw away anything that contains added sugar or trans fats. If you eat healthy at home, you’ll be able to indulge at the party without putting on pounds.
Make Smart Food Choices
Be in charge of your party choices. Stick with low calorie drinks like red wine and ice tea, avoid sauces made from cream, and use small plates. Opt for low calorie desserts like angel food cake, shortbread cookies, pudding, fruit, and mini muffins. Trim the fat from the meat and choose healthy side dishes, such as green leafy veggies and sweet potatoes.
If you’re the host, create a healthy menu for your guests. You have total freedom to make all the decisions and cook diet friendly meals that everyone will love. Skip the sugar and use stevia, cinnamon and other spices. Make appetizers using a variety of fruits, green vegetables, nuts, whole grain crackers, low fat milk, and lean roasted meats. Add less salt and more spices to appetizers and main dishes. Choose foods with more fiber, such as whole pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and multigrain bread.
Take the Focus Off Food
Enjoy the holidays without thinking too much about food. Play games with your family, admire the holiday decorations, or try serving homemade meals to the community. Focus on non-edible projects like building a gingerbread house or making wreaths for your loved ones. When you’re invited at a party, avoid the buffet table and socialize with the guests.