The holidays are coming and they’re typically full of rich and highly caloric foods that aren’t necessarily good for our health or our waist lines. The average American gains approximately one to two pounds during the holidays. These pounds typically aren’t shed and can add up over the years.
This holiday season, stop the cycle.
By making just a few minor adjustments, you can save yourself hundreds of calories. Use some of the tips below to reduce calories and fat while preserving the flavor of your meals.
HIGH CALORIE INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS
1. Baked Goods – Oils and butter in these recipes can be substituted with apple sauce, prune puree, or bananas.
2. Chocolate – Use fewer chocolate chips than a recipe calls for or substitute with cocoa powder.
3. Whole Milk, Whipping Cream – Lower fat milk or imitation whipped cream will reduce your calories greatly.
4. Butter – Use healthier fats like light cooking spray, canola oil, whipped butter, olive oil, peanut oil, or a trans-fat-free margarine.
5. Salad Dressing – Salads may seem super healthy, but just a tablespoon of some salad dressings can set you back 100 calories. Instead use reduced-calorie salad dressing, lemon juice, reduced-fat cottage cheese, or herb-flavored or wine vinegar.
6. Cheese – Instead of the usual cheese, try reduced fat cheese. I bet neither you nor your family will be able to tell the difference.
7. Sour Cream, Mayonnaise – Use a plain fat free Greek yogurt–it has the same texture and similar flavor to both sour cream and mayonnaise.
8. Gravy – Put your gravy into the refrigerator before serving. Once it gets cold the fat will collect at the top, skim it off, defrost, and serve.
9. What to Serve – Serve low calorie foods like Canadian bacon, roast beef, raw vegetables, light cheese, dip made with fat free yogurt, and/or homemade salsa.
10. Lean Your Meats – Make your meats lean by removing the skin and fat before eating.
11. A Full Plate – Fill up half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables like salad, green beans, spinach, or broccoli.
12. Portion Control – If you have trouble with portion control, drink two large glasses of water right before you start your meal and continue to take sips between bites.
13. Low-Calorie Sweets – Make a lower-calorie dessert like Angel food cake topped with light whip cream and fruit.
14. Fruits – Poached or baked fruits with a light whipped topping also make great desserts.
15. Cakes and Pies – Gingerbread is a lower calorie alternative to the usual cakes and pies.
16. Add Water – Make spritzers with sparkling water or club soda and add some fruit for flavor.
17. Low Calorie Options – Choose light beer, wine, or drinks made with no calorie mixers.
18. Alternate – Alternate between alcoholic drink and water to stay hydrated and keep calories lower.
19. Infusion – Try an infused liquor to reduce alcohol intake and use of mixers.
AFTER MEAL ACTIVITY
20. Walk it Off – Make activity a habit after your meals–whether it be a walk or an interactive game, get the whole family involved so that you can all burn a few extra calories and lead a longer, healthier life together.