Healthy Holiday Alternatives to keep your waistline in check

With more holidays fast approaching, the stress on our waistlines is greater than ever. But with a few simple food swaps, the holidays can be a time to indulge without adding extra calories.

  1. Veggie Dips:
    • To avoid loading up on calories before a meal, many people will stick close to the veggie tray thinking they are doing something right. However, that full fat sour cream dip can pack 60 calories or more per ounce. Healthy alternative? Substitute full fat sour cream for non fat or non-fat Greek yogurt. No one will be able to tell the difference, and you can cut calories down from 60 per ounce to 15-25 per ounce.
  2.  Holiday Potatoes:
    • Everyone loves candied yams this time of year. They are the perfect side dish to any great holiday meal. However, they are loaded with sugar. A healthy swap would be to skip the yams and go for baked sweet potatoes. They can be topped with some fat free butter and cinnamon to give you that “candied” taste. Sweet potatoes are also loaded with antioxidants and fiber.
  3. Swap white for wheat:
    • If you are in the healthy eating mindset, the dinner rolls may be easy to skip all together. However, if you must have bread with your meal, try and go for whole wheat over white. It has more fiber and less sugar than it’s white alternative, and will save a few calories as well.
  4. Skip the eggnog:
    • Winter and eggnog go together like peanut butter and jelly, but with upwards of 250 calories per glass, it is not a drink that will help the scale any. Go for hot apple cider instead and save 100 calories and all the fat. If you must have eggnog, make your own with low fat milk and egg substitute instead of whole milk and eggs.
  5. Portion Control
    • If nothing in this list sounds appealing, and you just have to have the candied yams and eggnog, practice portion control. Limit your self to one serving of the less healthy options, and alternate every other drink with water or calorie free seltzer. This will help to keep that calories down and ensure you can still have a guilt free holiday.

As hard as the holidays are to stay on track with a diet and exercise program, there are small changes you can make to help keep your program on track. These suggestions were taken from Everyday Health magazine. For more healthy holiday alternatives, visit http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/healthy-holiday-food-swaps.aspx#11. Happy Holidays!

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