13 Healthy Swaps for the Holidays

The holidays are here along with the best food we get to eat (and look forward to eating) all year. Don’t we all want to enjoy the once-a-year treats without adding unwanted weight? We don’t want that feeling of regret that leads to the most common New Year’s resolution, “This year, I’m going to lose weight.” It’s much simpler to face the New Year if you don’t have to face the extra pounds, too.

eat drink holiday balanceConnect to the rescue! To help you plan for the holidays without giving up your favorite foods, we’ve made a list of healthy swaps you can make to help you have healthier, (happier) holidays.

  1. Swap a bigger plate for a smaller plate. Psychologically we feel fuller when we eat off of a full plate. If you fill a smaller plate, it will force you to stop before reaching for seconds, and it will help you to keep your eyes from being bigger than your stomach.
  2. Swap eating fast for eating slowly. It gives your stomach a chance to catch up with how full you really are. If you know that you’re full before eating too much, it’s easy to save calories.
  3. Swap the nap from being too full for a walk around the block. We all know that feeling of being so full after Thanksgiving dinner that all you want to do is lay on the sofa. If you can take a walk around the block first, it will help you digest your food while you burn a few extra calories.
  4. Swap more work for less work. If you’re cooking dinner, leave out the ham and fattening dishes to save yourself and your family lots of calories. When you cook simple dishes with fewer ingredients, or skip extra dishes all together, you will be healthier, while saving time and money too!
  5. Swap mayonnaise based salad dressings like thousand Island, ranch and blue cheese for lighter vinaigrettes or olive oil and vinegar.
  6. Swap dark meat for white meat. It’s healthier for you all the way around.
  7. Swap big portions piled high for smaller portions. You’ll eat fewer calories without the dare to clean your plate.
  8. Swap the carbs for more protein and vitamins. If you skip the bread, potatoes, and rice, you’ll have more room to eat turkey and veggies. If bread is a must, eat wheat instead of white bread. If potatoes are a must, eat baked sweet potatoes, not candied yams, instead of white potatoes.
  9. Swap the soufflés and casseroles for baked or oven-roasted veggies. By taking out the eggs, cream and cheese that go into these dishes, you’re also leaving off the pounds.
  10. Swap store bought stuffing for a homemade healthy holiday recipe.
  11. Trade cranberry sauce for cranberry relish or cranberry adorned sides
  12. Swap wine, beer, egg nog, and soft drinks for sparkling or flat water or even a spritzer.
  13. If you’re going to have dessert (and we know we are), choose the pumpkin pie over all else, and leave the crust and whipped cream behind.

You should enjoy the holidays and your favorite foods, and if you can set a few limits around how much and what you eat, you can have a guilt-free holiday season without hard-to-lose weight afterwards.

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