Ah, the holidays. We come into this time of year, filled with equal parts wonderment and fear. With every well-intentioned plate of office cookies or gift of gourmet chocolate comes the dread that too much of a good thing will lead to weight gain.
However, the weight gain is not the real problem. Likely, like most average Americans, you will probably only gain a couple pounds between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the next year. The real problem is that if you do not shed those extra pounds, every year those few extra pounds add up.
Stop weight gain in its tracks this year with easy holiday treat swaps that let you have your cake and it eat it, too – with a few less calories. Last month we jumpstarted your preemptive weight management plan with a few tips for holiday weight management. Today, we add to your toolkit with these five swaps for famous favorites.
Choose Yogurt Dips Over Full Fat Dips
When it comes to appetizers, many of them are swaddled in heavy, dreamy dips. Swap out the full-fat sour cream with low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt and cut calories without skimping on taste. To look at numbers, an ounce of sour cream has about 60 calories, whereas an ounce of nonfat plain Greek yogurt only has 15 or 20 calories. Do the math and watch your waistline remain the same.
Cut Back on Alcohol Calories
Another way the holiday calories often sneak up on you is through libations. Cut back on alcohol by replacing two ounces of wine with club soda. If a five-ounce glass of wine has about 150 calories, replacing two ounces with zero-calorie club soda cuts about 60 calories. Plus, you get a refreshing wine spritzer that saves a little room for dessert.
Opt for White Meat
Choose white meat in your turkey portions and you’ll save on fat. Dark meat with the skin on has about twice the fat of a turkey breast and packs about 230 calories. Skinless turkey breast is only 160 calories and has much less saturated fat.
Green Beans Versus Casserole
Everyone loves classic green bean casserole, but you can enjoy a healthier version of it. Use reduced fat mushroom soup for starters to cut 40 calories per half-cup serving. Go even healthier and skip the soup and French-fried onions, opting instead for steamed fresh green beans, sprinkled with toasted almonds.
Eat Pumpkin Pie, Not Pecan
You can still certainly enjoy pie, especially if you practice portion control and choose pumpkin over pecan pie. A slice of pumpkin is usually about 300 calories, versus pecan pie that generally clocks out at 500 calories. Saving 200 calories definitely shaves off a healthy amount from your daily allowance while still letting you indulge a little. Skip the crust and save an additional 100 calories.
You can still nosh your favorite delicacies with portion control and these holiday treat swaps. For extra wisdom on staying healthy for the holidays, contact us and ask us your holiday fitness questions.