Surviving the holidays without sacrificing

By Alyssa Stern

Woman holding wine glassThe calendar is filling up with holiday parties, office gatherings and family celebrations. And you are wondering, “How am I going to survive without gaining weight?”
According to a CNN report, the average American gains one to two pounds in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t let it happen to you! Here are some tips to help get you through.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Many recipes include flavor without added fats and extra calories. If you love to bake, substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream. It has the same consistency without the calories and fat. Apple sauce can be substituted for oil in baking.

All good things in moderation. Holiday gatherings are surrounded with creamy, cheesy, high-calorie delights. If you see something you must have, indulge, but have a little instead of a lot.

Offer healthy options. If hosting a party or bringing a dish to share at someone else’s event, think healthy! No one will notice the difference in a low-fat or no-fat cream cheese dip versus the full fat version. Mix 12 to 16 ounces Greek yogurt with a packet of ranch dressing. Serve with carrots, celery, green peppers and cucumbers. The healthy option will keep you full and not headed for the meat and cheese tray, and then the dessert table.

Eat before the party. This will save you from over-indulging. Create a salad with dark green leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula or romaine lettuce. Top with protein such as unsalted sunflower seeds, cubed turkey or soy nuts. If you need a dressing choose a salad dressing that is not white or creamy. Creamy indicates high calories and fats. Balsamic vinegar is full of flavor and low in calories. Enjoy the salad with a full glass of ice water. Water fills your stomach so you feel full.

If drinking, choose light colored liquor or light beer. Darker colored liquors have more sugar. Your best option is a white wine spritzer (white wine with club soda).

For more recipe ideas, visit www.skinnytaste.com or eatingwell.com.

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