By Tyler Graning
The holiday season is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate another year together. However, it’s also a time for many Americans to start piling food on their plates. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over the long run, that can be a lot of weight gain!
With a few simple tips- and a balance of food, activity, and fun–you can enjoy your holidays in a healthy way.
- Try to maintain your current weight instead of trying to lose it.
- Schedule some time for exercise, such as a 15 minute walk twice a day.
- Don’t skip meals to try to compensate for eating more later on. Eat a light snack (raw vegetables, fruit) to curb your appetite so you won’t over-indulge.
- Enjoy your favorites! Keep your plate balanced, and skip on your least favorite foods.
- Aim for satisfied, not stuffed. Eat small portions at a time.
- Beware of beverages- alcohol, sodas. These can add a lot of unobserved calories and sugars.
- If you eat too much at one meal, take it down a notch on the next one. Don’t fret, you won’t gain weight from just one piece of pie.
- Take your attention away from food- instead of making edibles, do fun projects like wreath, candle, or ornament making.
There are also a few tricks available that can help you prepare your favorite dishes in a healthy way, with lower fat and calories…
- Gravy– refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a massive 56 grams of fat per cup.
- Dressing– use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
- Turkey– try roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
- Green Bean Casserole– cook fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.
- Mashed Potatoes– use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
- Eggnog– four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.
- Desserts– make a crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Top cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of fattening frosting.
If you’ve noticed a tendency to overdo it with your holiday feasting, you’re not alone. Trying just one or two of the ideas above, however, can go a long way towards bringing balance back, or help you save room for Grandma’s pumpkin pie–the choice is yours!
From all of us at TLS, we hope you have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!
Tyler Graning is an intern in the Product Management Department at Market America. He is a recent graduate from UNCG, with a degree in Marketing.