The holiday season is quickly approaching and many of our calendars are filling up with gatherings with friends and family. Live Healthy Iowa encourages Iowans to eat healthy and live actively year round. It is important to continue leading a healthy lifestyle while celebrating with friends and family and here are a few tips to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday season.
- Control your portions – A serving size of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand. Limit gravy, which adds excess fat, calories and sodium, to about a tablespoon or half the size of a golf ball. If there are multiple desserts on the table, take a bite size piece of a few to sample so you can still treat yourself but won’t lose control.
- Make substitutions – There are many ways to make healthy substitutions without sacrificing flavor while baking and cooking. For example, instead of butter use equal parts cinnamon flavored applesauce. Use whole grain breads and pastas instead of white and substitute low-fat or fat-free milk for whole or heavy cream.
- Limit liquid calories – Festive beverages are often enjoyed during the holiday season but can be loaded with calories, fat and sugar. Eggnog can be mixed with half low-fat or skim milk to cut calories or you can purchase low-fat or soy versions. But “low-fat” or “low-sugar” instants hot chocolate packets and mix with skim milk or water. Skip the whip cream on all of your holiday drinks to limit holiday weight gain.
- Stay active – This time of year there are many activities to enjoy with friends and family. Make a family tradition of going for a walk after your meal or playing a backyard game of football or soccer.
Do you make substitutions to any of your favorite holiday meals? Comment below and share your tips and tricks to avoid the holiday bulge!
Remember the true meaning of the holidays and don’t let food be the focus of your gathering. Enjoy your time with friends and family and continue to lead a positive lifestyle year round.