The holidays are always filled with long and substantial family meals. But you can avoid gaining weight during the holidays. All you have to do is follow a few simple tricks to enjoy the traditional meals without bad conscience.
- Side Dishes – watch your portion size:
When you go for the first plate of food, the eyes desire more than the stomach can handle. Take small portions and wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. This way you can sample everything on the buffet table and give time for your stomach to digest.
- Limit high fat items:
We know that the holidays are full of delicious high fat foods: creamy, cheesy, fried side dishes. If you are a guest, limit how much you take and skip unnecessary items (do you need bread rolls with butter if you’re having a potato gratin?) If you are the chef, consider cutting down the amount of butter, cream, and cheese used in dishes. Using healthy thanksgiving substitutes, you can use light cream or milk instead of 40% cream.
- Drink lots of water:
Alcohol, coffee, and mulled wine dehydrate the body. It also adds empty calories and encourages fatty food cravings. Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage or coffee you have. And limit yourself to a maximum number of drinks during the day.
- Don’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry:
Thanksgiving dinners start an old time, somewhere between lunch and dinner. Before heading off to a friend’s place, starving, have a small meal an hour before. Eat foods that are easy on your digestion, cereal and milk (not the sugary cereals!), yougurt and musli, yougurt and fruit and tea.
- Turkey – go skinless:
Many chefs stuff the underside of the turkey skin with seasoning so that when the turkey is cooked, flavors permeate throughout the turkey. Instead of going for turkey, skin, and pan juice, go for just the turkey.
- Offer healthy alternatives:
If you are the host for thanksgiving, try creating healthy, in season dishes that benefit everyone. Make a roasted vegetable side dish or even a light, creamy butternut squashcasserole. Cut out on the heavy fats and creams in pumpkin pies and serve lighter alternatives.