Lose Weight & Maintain Health This Christmas

Tis not the season for worrying about how to lose weight.  Tis the season for pumpkin pie, cocktail parties, office potluck lunches and food indulgences of all shapes and sizes. But if you’re trying to lose weight we’ve got three tricks that will help you enjoy the flavors of the holiday without compromising your health.

Lose Weight by Getting High at Parties

Have we got your attention? Ideas for low-calorie party foods are a dime a dozen: stick with the vegetable platter or use fat-free yogurt instead of mayonnaise for making dips, etc. But focusing on foods that are high in nutrition sounds like a lot more fun than chewing celery and drinking tap water. Skip the rabbit food and look for snacks known for providing heart-healthy fats or a boost of protein such as hummus, nuts, guacamole, deviled eggs or cheese served with fruit. Small amounts of these higher calorie, but more nutritious foods ,will leave you satisfied and help you avoid the salty, gooey empty calories that really make you hate yourself in the morning.

Can the Cans

Avoid processed, pre-packaged foods as much as possible when preparing your holiday recipes. Trace amounts of salt, sugar, fat, MSG and other additives can really add up over the many courses of a typical holiday feast. Use fresh green beans instead of canned. Make gravy from scratch, and don’t even look at a box of instant stuffing. We said don’t look at it! By cooking from scratch you control what goes into each dish. If you don’t have a ton of confidence in your 100-percent-homemade skills, consider simplifying things a bit. Serve fresh vegetables with minimal preparation, healthier and easier than calorie-laden casseroles, or make one or two fabulous desserts instead of thawing a dozen pies. A meal made of fresh, seasonal ingredients will set the festive tone you want without the chemicals and extra calories you don’t.

Bulk Up

Admittedly, this sounds like the opposite of a helpful, healthful tip, but we’re talking about your holiday recipe ideas, not your body. By switching products made from plain white flour to bulkier, whole-grainier versions you’ll boost the nutritional value of your favorite dishes and eat less overall. If your holiday menu isn’t complete without dressing, mac and cheese, dinner rolls or other high-carb items (And whose is?) make those items healthier by using whole-grain products to make them. Substituting even part of the bread, pasta or flour in your favorite dishes with a whole-grain version will help keep blood sugar levels, and pant sizes, from rising.