The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult does a little too much celebrating during this time of year, which leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Festivities that include indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, and little to no workout time all contribute to the increase in dieters in January. Why not buck the trend and actual ring in the New Year the same size as you started the holiday season? There are a number of things you can do to make this happen, like sticking with your exercise plan and practising moderation, but here is an additional trick to add you to your tool box this holiday season. When at a holiday party, rather than refraining altogether why not choose lower calorie foods that still packa whole lotta flavour? Read below for some lower calorie suggestions that may surprise you.
Eat Mushroom Gravy (made with chicken stock) rather than Cranberry Sauce…
- Mushroom gravy
Per ½ cup:
55 cal, 2 g fat (0 g sat), 6 g carbs, 471 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
- Cranberry sauce
Per ½ cup:
209 cal, 0 fat, 54 g carbs, 40 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein
Eat Sliced Ham instead of a Turkey Drumstick…
- Sliced ham
Per 3 oz:
139 cal, 7 g fat (2 g sat), 3 g carbs, 1,109 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein
- Turkey drumstick
416 cal, 13 g fat (4 g sat), 0 g carbs, 196 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 70 g protein
Eat Mashed Potatoes instead of Stuffing…
- Mashed potatoes
237 cal, 9 g fat (4 g sat), 35 carbs, 666 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein
354 cal, 17 g fat (3 g sat), 43 g carbs, 1,086 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein
Eat your dessert with a dollop of Whipped Cream instead of Ice Cream…
- Apple pie with whipped topping
Per slice (8 of a 9" pie) with ½ cup topping:
488 cal, 26 g fat (10 g sat), 62 g carbs, 366 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein
- Apple pie à la mode
Per slice (8 of a 9" pie) with ½ cup Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream:
641 cal, 80 g carbs, 33 g fat (16 g sat), 382 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g protein
Other tips for avoiding the holiday bulge…
- Keep your portions moderate and fill up on salads and veggies.
- Alcohol has a lot of empty calories (150+calories per drink). Substitute these with some sparkling water and a splash of cranberry juice.
- Reach for some shrimp or even better, raw veggies, instead of appetizers coated in puff pastry.
- Keep yourself and your hands busy while hosting or attending a party with lots of tempting food. (Help clean up, drink lots of water, whatever it takes).
- Keep up your exercise as much as possible. Even 10 minutes per day is better than nothing.
- Remember what the holidays are all about…friends, family, love, gratefulness…food is an integral part but it is really a complement to all of these wonderful other things. Practise moderation and find the balance between enjoying the fun and food of the season and staying fit and healthy.
Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas!
Christine is a nutritionist, yoga instructor and personal trainer who specializes in weight loss and womens health at Four Forty Fitness for Women in Burlington, Ontario. Check out the website at www.fourfortyfitness.ca