7 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays

Lisa Nelson Health Pro
  • The holiday season is just around the corner - a time of year when it becomes very difficult to make healthy eating choices. However, preventing holiday weight gain does not mean you need to deprive yourself of your favorite holiday foods! If you don't want to add inches to your waist this holiday season there are steps you can take.

    It's critical that you plan ahead when gathering around a table filled with rich and delicious foods. Decide in advance if you are going to have seconds and of which foods. Decide if you will skip seconds on the calorie and fat laden mashed potatoes and gravy and instead opt for more salad or other side dish. The same goes for desserts. Sampling everything available is not the goal, but select 1 or 2 desserts you can savor.

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    Here are 7 simple recipe substitutions you can use to reduce calories without sacrificing the taste you love.

    1. Applesauce or Plum Puree: Use canned applesauce or plum puree in your holiday cookie, cake and pie recipes as a healthier alternative to replace butter and oils.

    2. Pumpkin: Use canned pumpkin for more than pumpkin pie. Add canned pumpkin to mashed potatoes in place of heavy cream or butter.

    3. Broths: Substitute chicken or beef broth for oil when sautéing meats and vegetables. Choose broth low in sodium for an even healthier choice that's still full of flavor.

    4. Cranberry Sauce: Use cranberry sauce to top your turnkey instead of pilling on the gravy.

    5. Cocoa: Replace chocolate in baking recipes with 3 tablespoons of cocoa for every 1 ounce of chocolate.

    6. Evaporated Milk: When a recipe calls for sweet milk, replace 1 cup of sweet milk with 1/2 cup canned evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water.

    7. Yogurt: Instead of topping holiday pies with whipped cream or ice cream, substitute frozen or low-fat yogurt. Plain low-fat yogurt can also replace sour cream in recipes.

    Don't forget to socialize! The holidays are all the richer due to the family and friends you surrounding you. Make time during your holiday meal to catch up with family and friends. This will slow down how quickly you eat and are running back for seconds. You may find that you are full and do not need that second helping!

    These are just a few of the steps you can take to prevent holiday weight gain. Join dietitians Ursula Ridens RD and Lisa Nelson RD for the free teleclass "10 Secrets to Survive the Holidays Without Gaining Weight". You'll learn more about steps you can take to stop holiday weight gain and have your specific questions answered. Go to http://www.lisanelsonrd.com/newu/holidaycall.html to sign up!

Published On: November 10, 2009