TIME STAMP: 4 MINUTE READ
Posted by Jeff Cai
The holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy quality time with your family and friends, but unfortunately this time of year also associates itself with weight gain and poor nutritional choices. We tend to think less about our food and beverage choices and eat things that we usually would not indulge in on a day to day basis.
The good news is, the holidays can still be a time of enjoyment, without the extra weight gain. Around 18% of people say that they struggle to eat healthy during the holidays because they do not want to stop eating their favourite foods, but you don’t have to! You can still indulge, just in moderation. It is all about being more mindful about what we put on our plate.
Here are our top tips for eating healthy during the holidays.
WATCH THE ALCOHOL
Just a single shot of vodka, gin or rum mixed with a diet soda can add an extra 100 calories to your daily intake, and a light beer or wine will set you back about 150 calories. These are fine if you only plan on drinking one, but if you are out with some friends or at your work Christmas party, the chances are that you will be sipping on a few more than just one.
Champagne or prosecco are good options for low calorie drinks, and because they are a little more bubbly, you often spend more time sipping them rather than sculling.
Do not completely avoid the cookies, pies and brownies that accompany holiday meals, but be conscious that these treats are often full of fat and not at all good for your waist line, or health in general.
There are simple things you can do that significantly reduce your fat and caloric intake when creating these tasty treats. When cooking pies, cakes or brownies, use half the amount of sugar that the recipe asks. You will save a whopping 744 calories for each cup of sugar that you do not use, and because these treats are usually far too sweet anyway, you won’t have to compromise on taste.
Another calorie dense product that often finds its way into holiday treats is oil. For every half-cup of oil that you leave out of your festive recipes, you will save around 900 calories and 100 grams of fat! Substitutes for oil are super easy and can be anything from pumpkin puree to organic apple sauce.
BRING YOUR OWN DISH
It can be hard to know what is in the food you are eating and the nutritional value of meals that you eat at someone else’s house. To avoid over indulging in a high calorie or unhealthy dish, offer to bring your own dish or snacks over. This way, you know exactly what you have put inside the meal and have something to fall back on if there is not anything of nutritional value.
MAKE A PLAN
If you feel like you have no self-control over what you eat, then the holidays can be a hard time! Try to make a plan of what you will eat when you go to a friends, or have a lunch at your house. For example, tell yourself that you will only have one serving of mains and only 1 piece of dessert. Make your partner or family aware of your plan so they can keep you accountable. This will avoid mindlessly reaching for a second serving, or that third brownie and feeling guilty after.
If you have a sweet tooth and you absolutely will not pass up desert, then don’t deprive yourself! Instead, make small sacrifices throughout the day with your other meals if you know you will be indulging later. At lunch, skip the dinner rolls and butter so that you can indulge in a piece of pie after dinner.
The festive season is a time for indulging in food, surrounded by your friends and family, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard and compromise your health and waist line. A few small adjustments to how you look at food this holiday season will make a massive difference on the scales when January rolls around.
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