With the holiday season here, people are planning to gather with family and friends for parties and special meals. If you are trying to lose weight, attending a holiday dinner or party can be a challenge. Many holiday foods are full of fat and sugar that can pack on the pounds. Here are some tips to help you make healthier foods if you are cooking and make good choices if you are planning to attend a party.
Cooking a roasted turkey without the skin can save you 11 grams of fat for a 3-ounce serving.
If you are making stuffing, use less bread and more onion, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Green apples can make delicious, moist stuffing. You can also moisten and flavor your stuffing with low-fat and low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
Make mashed potatoes with skim milk and fresh garlic. You can add some chopped onion and parsley for extra flavor.
Instead of making green bean casserole with cream soup, use chunks of potatoes. Top the casserole with crushed almonds instead of fried onion rings.
You can make your pies crustless to cut down on carbs. Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg in recipes. If you are making cheesecake or cream pie, use evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream. Top a cake with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a little powdered sugar instead of calorie-laden frosting.
Make homemade eggnog with less fat. Use 1 ½ cups of skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk; 1 ½ cups plain non-fat yogurt; ¼ teaspoon rum extract; and ground nutmeg. Blend all the ingredients except the nutmeg until smooth.
If you are going to a holiday party as a guest, eat a light snack, such as raw vegetables or fruit, before you leave home. This will curb your appetite and make you less tempted to overindulge. You can also eat a handful of nuts. The protein will make you feel fuller.
Look at everything on the buffet table before you begin choosing. Select a few healthy items and skip the rest. You should include as many fruits and vegetables as possible and try to avoid heavy sauces and sugary foods. Foods with vitamins and protein will make you feel full longer. Carbs will make you bloated, and you will soon be hungry again.
Take smaller portions, sit down, relax, and savor every bite. Eat enough that you are satisfied, but not stuffed.
Be careful with alcoholic drinks. It is best to avoid alcohol because it can compromise your willpower and because many drinks are full of calories. Mixed drinks and drinks with a higher alcohol content have more calories. If you decide to drink, do so in moderation. Non-alcoholic drinks can also be full of calories and sugar.
If you overeat at a holiday dinner, eat less at your next meal. It takes 3,500 calories more than you normally consume to gain a pound.
If you are attending a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish you made yourself. You will know all the ingredients and will be guaranteed to have at least one healthy option.
Instead of making holiday candy and cookies, choose another fun and creative activity. Make a wreath or decorate a gingerbread house. Plan activities with friends and family that do not focus on food. You can serve a holiday meal in your local community, play games, or go for a walk or drive to look at Christmas decorations.