While it may seem impossible to eat healthy during the holidays, it is a feat that can be conquered with a little knowledge and willpower. Enjoying your favorite foods and holiday treats in moderation is one sure way to make sure the ‘season of giving’ isn’t giving too much to your waistline.
However, there are still a few holiday traditions you should skip out on entirely.
Stay Slim This Holiday Season by Avoiding these Holiday Staples:
- Eggnog - When the dessert tray comes out you might think it’s a good choice to sip on an indulgent drink instead, like eggnog. But before you reach for this traditional winter drink, remember that just on cup can pack over 300 calories, about half of which are fats. Besides the additional fat you’re consuming in just one serving, it’s also giving you about 50% of your daily cholesterol value.
What to drink instead: If you want to indulge in a holiday nightcap try mixing a clear liquor (like vodka or gin) with soda water and a fresh lemon or lime.
- Popcorn - We’re not really sure why popcorn tins are so popular around the holiday season, but beware of decadent caramel corn. What makes this holiday treat so tasty is the butter and sugar added to a pretty harmless snack, which can give it a tally of about 500 calories for just 4 ounces (That’s about one heaping handful). We’d suggest having some in moderation, but the addictive sugar will most likely make it a snack you just can’t seem to put down. Even worse, once your body has this high amount of sugar, you’ll find yourself craving even more holiday sweets later on.
What to snack on instead: if mingling with your family gives you munchie anxiety, stack some veggies on a plate to munch on instead. Bringing a hearty hummus plate can help you increase your protein intake while you avoid the popcorn tins
- Green Bean Casserole – Don’t be fooled by the inclusion of a vegetable in the title of this dish. Green bean casserole is a holiday dish we can’t help but look forward to, but dieters beware. These casseroles are often made up of heaping amounts of cream and butter to create that creamy filling. Worst of all, those fried onions are packing calories with almost no nutritional value. The combination of cream, butter, and crunchy onions completely overpower any benefits of the green beans. Keep in mind the fats and extra sodium in this dish before adding a heaping scoop to your plate.
What to add to your plate instead: If boiled veggies are an option, try adding a scoop of those and season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Cranberry Sauce - A staple of most Thanksgiving tables whether homemade or from the classic mold of a can is cranberry sauce. Again, you’re thinking, ‘cranberries… a superfood with antioxidants and fiber!’ What you should be thinking, ‘a half cup of this is about 200 calories and enough sugar that I could be having pie.’
What to reach for instead: If you can’t avoid the dessert table, try showing up with some low fat frozen yogurt.