Five Tips for Fending Off Holiday Weight Gain
Here are given five tips for fending off holiday weight gain:
- Get off the “I’m on a diet” mindset. Now is no time to diet—in fact, a wonderful goal for the next six weeks is to simply maintain your current body weight so that the number on the scale reads the same on New Year’s Day as it does on Thanksgiving.
You can accomplish this by allowing yourself (and planning ahead for) indulging in small amounts of your favorite holiday treats. But be sure to make sensible eating choices the rest of the time.
- Exercise more to offset holiday overeating. Don’t let your shopping and party commitments squeeze out your workouts. Now more than ever is when you need to up your physical activity so that you can balance out the extra holiday splurges. Make a contract with an outside person to get an extra weekly workout in to cover your inevitable holiday indulgences.
- Follow basic healthy eating guidelines: Eat breakfast, don’t skip meals, drink all your calorie-free liquid, and eat small, frequent, lighter meals at home. Carry healthy snacks like fruits and veggies and light yogurt, and never, ever arrive HUNGRY at an event where holiday treats are being served. These yummy delights are impossible to resist when one is famished.
Before you go, appease your appetite with some light snacks such as whole-grain crackers and string cheese, veggies and hummus dip, or a glass of tomato juice. And don’t forget to bring your own “lighter” holiday makeover dish to the party.
- Use only small plates and load up on salad first if you attend a buffet. Take small tastes of the food and eat only what you love.
- Limit alcohol consumption (liquid calories). Alcohol is highly caloric, plus it can sabotage your best laid plans by affecting your judgment. After a few drinks it’s much harder to refrain from eating all those rich gooey desserts. If you do drink, stick with the lighter choices: A 4-ounce wine or champagne weighs in at just 80 calories versus a 5-ounce cocktail, a heavy 300 calories. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a sparkling water and lime.
Mix cranberries with a small Valencia orange to add sweetness. Cut back on amount of added sugar and add a tablespoon of Grand Marnier. Add chopped walnuts.
Green bean casserole:
Omit cream soup and fried onion rings. For each pound of fresh green beans, combine the following and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 ºF until bubbly (about 30 minutes): ½ cup fat-free half and half, 1 cup sliced carrots, 2 Tbsp minced dried onions, 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese.
Better yet, steam green beans and add sautéed mushrooms, shallots, balsamic vinegar, a touch of sugar and some sliced almonds and bacon bits for super tasty yet LIGHT.
For each pound of yams, bake use ½ cup OJ plus cinnamon to taste and ¼ cup raisins. Add light margarine, reduced calorie maple syrup and a touch of mini marshmallows and you cut the calories in half.
Or…for the more traditional sweet potato casserole…use the “mini” marshmallows; replace butter with light tub margarine; and the brown sugar with Splenda® brown sugar blend.
Purchase fat-free eggnog or make your own: 2 peeled ripe bananas, 1 cup fat-free milk or soy milk, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp rum extract. Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth.
Add oatmeal to the recipe, use a trans fat-free crust, substitute Splenda® brown sugar blend for brown sugar, substitute light margarine for butter, substitute Egg Beaters® for eggs. Use thawed fat-free whipped topping in place of whipped cream.
Who says you can’t enjoy the scrumptious holiday goodies and still maintain some waist management? All it takes is some ingenuity in the kitchen and a mindset of a little is good, a lot is not. Try these holiday makeover recipes and you will be taking one small step to a healthier and lighter new year. Don’t forget to get EXERCISE in this coming week to balance out the inevitable extra calorie consumption.
Happy Holidays to All!