To indulge or not indulge over the holidays?
The holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re like me, it’s the most challenging time of year to stay ON TRACK with healthy eating and exercise! The key is to plan ahead before temptations arise with these few easy steps:
- Plan your Weekday Meals– Before the holiday even begins, don’t stop meal prepping for the week! This means over the weekend, write down your family’s meals for each day of the upcoming week and put your grocery list together. For my family, that usually means grilling or baking proteins like chicken or lean meats and washing, roasting and prepping fruits and vegetables so they’re ready to grab and eat. With my husband and I both working from home, this is great because we never have to think, “What’s for lunch?”.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption– Holidays are a great excuse to eat AND drink a little bit more…but did you know that one festive drink can rack up to 300+ empty calories? Yikes! That doesn’t even include meals! Even wine isn’t calorie free The average, 5 ounce glass of wine has 120 calories, martini about 200 calories, margarita and daiquiri…wait for it….up to 300+ calories PLUS over 50 grams of sugar! (think about how many glasses were consumed at your last holiday event!). So before grabbing that first or even second alcoholic beverage, think twice and maybe enjoy a small extra helping of your favorite food dish instead!
- Make Healthy Cooking Substitutions– I LOVE a good, rich dessert and creamy mac & cheese (who doesn’t?)! Unfortunately, that probably means there’s extra butter, cream and sugar in that yummy dish. If you’re planning to host or bring prepped food to your next family gathering, think small ingredient substitutions that, honestly, no one will know you made except you! Play around with recipes before the event.
Here are some of my “sneaky” healthier cooking subs:
- Cut the amount of sugar by a third or half in cookie recipes.
- Use applesauce instead of butter in cake recipes.
- Substitute two egg whites for one whole egg in any baking recipe.
- Making mashed potatoes? Substitute half cauliflower for half of the potatoes, use fat free half-and-half or low-fat milk instead of heavy cream, cut the butter in half, use fat-free plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Use whole-wheat pasta for the next mac & cheese dish and also low or fat-free milk instead of whole milk.
- For cheese and charcuterie platters: Choose low-fat cheeses and leaner meats like turkey salami or thin sliced lean ham.
- For regular ground beef dishes, use ground sirloin/extra lean ground beef or substitute ground turkey or chicken breast instead.
- Plan your Workouts– Don’t let the holidays get in the way of your regular workouts! Even if it’s just 20-30 minutes/day, get it in! Make it a family affair and take walks or hikes together or play outside. You can also follow along with some of my no equipment home workout videos on Youtube!
- Choose Food Splurges Wisely– Is there one or two special dishes or desserts that you only get to eat once a year? Enjoy those foods MORE and minimize the foods you can have any other time of year.
Stay up-to-date and accountable with more health and fitness tips throughout the holiday season on my YouTube Channel and Instagram page!