Cutting back on calories over the holiday season can be tough. The festivite season itself is not really the best time to be trying to lose weight. Rather, a good way to look at the holiday season (and shift your mentality), is to view it as a time of body weight maintenance.
Here are some easy things you can do to keep your holiday meals healthier, and your waistline in check.
- Serve a variety of vegetable options, in both a hot and cold fashion. This means salad is a big hit with maybe some finger size fresh veggies, and of course some cooked vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, green beans or even potatoes.
- Of course we go gobble gobble over turkey. Not only is it a great quality protein, but very lean too. However, take a pass on the skin. This is where many calories hide in the fat itself. If you take the skin off the turkey before you cut it, you won’t even know its gone.
- A neat way to trim calories off gravy, is to chill it after it is prepared. When it is cool, the fat will firm up on the surface and you can remove it with a spoon. Then all you have to do is re-heat and serve. Talk about an easy way to trim calories!
- If mashed potatoes are a family hit, experiment this year with how you prepare them. Instead of using whole milk or cream, try skim milk or chicken broth as a substitute.
- Serve your family meals on average size plates. If you use larger plates, then you will without doubt fill that larger plate with more food than a smaller average size plate. Think of this as one of those secret times you are looking out for your guests too.
- And lastly – we cannot forget about dessert! If pie is the popular choice, consider making a pie without a crust. There are many options you can find on the internet and pumpkin seems to lend well to this. Also, instead of ice cream options, add a light whip cream as a topping. It is tasty and saves many calories from sugar and fat.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Karla Heintz (BSc) Nutrition Educator and Author of
‘Picky! Not Me Mom! A parents’ guide to children’s nutrition.