It’s December and that means the holiday season is in full force. You got through Thanksgiving and now it’s time for Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year celebrations. All you want to do is eat, drink, and be merry, but it’s difficult to be merry when you’re having trouble zipping your pants. The last thing you want to do is spend all of January and February undoing the damage you did in November and December. Sure, New Year’s resolutions are good, but if you’ve put on a few pounds over the past month or you feel yourself getting way off track, it’s time to scale back NOW. Don’t wait until January. The holidays don’t have to be an excuse to let your goals fly out the window. You can still stay on track while enjoying all the holidays have to offer.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some popular holiday foods along with some suggestions for making them more weight loss friendly.
Go for Turkey
Ham is a popular choice for a main dish when it comes to the holidays, but most hams are cured with sugar or glazed in maple syrup and loaded with fat. This year, swap the ham for turkey and stick to the white meat, which is packed with protein and lower in calories and fat.
Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is an absolute staple at the holiday dinner table, but the rich dish is full of calories, fat, and carbohydrates and a single serving can easily put you over your calorie needs for the day. Try making a lighter version of mac and cheese by using spaghetti squash instead of noodles and Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. We found this recipe to get you started.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients, but when you eat in them in the form of a sweet potato casserole, which often contains loads of brown sugar and toasty marshmallows, the bad starts to outweigh the good. Use skim milk instead of cream and only a hint of brown sugar (really, it’s all you need!) for a lighter version of this holiday dish.
Cut Out the Cream
Many people have good intentions by serving spinach, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus with their holiday meals, but they miss the mark when they add lots of cream and cheese to make a “creamed” dish. Instead of serving creamed spinach or Brussels sprouts gratin, stick to roasted versions of the greens. This way, you’ll reap the benefits of the vegetables without taking in a lot of calories. Try this Brussels sprouts recipe or do a Broccoli Soffriti.
Lighten Up Dessert
Staying on track doesn’t mean you have to skip dessert altogether, just make some better choices. Try some fresh fruit with some low-fat whipped topping or this fruit trifle.