Even the most health-conscious and diet-driven can struggle with temptation come the holiday season. Whether you’re hosting a fall dinner party or already have a packed social calendar for December, making smart choices can help you to eat healthy during a time of appetizers, gravy and goodies galore. Follow these quick tips to avoid holiday weight gain, while enjoying the season’s festivities:
- • Eat a snack before the party: Before the main event, have a small snack that will help curb your appetite. Protein-packed snacks, like a handful of peanuts, can keep you feeling fuller, longer, plus offer many more health benefits.
- • Indulge in moderation: Make simple swaps and take smaller portions of belt-busting foods. As the host, offer these Seared Shrimp Tortilla Bites over deep-fried shrimp, or Chicken Satay instead of chicken wings for less fat but all the flavour.
- • Fill your (side) plate: When eating buffet-style, use a side or salad plate for main meals. Studies from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University showed that participants served themselves 31% more food when using a large bowl versus a smaller one. Hosting the party? The same can be said about serving utensils – the larger the utensil, the larger the portion.
- • Lighten up: Skimp on ingredients that pack a caloric punch by using light alternatives. For mashed potatoes, replace the cream with buttermilk or skim milk. Choose a stuffing recipe that features fruits or vegetables to cut down on the bread. And, make sure to include some lower-fat varieties, like goat cheese, on a cheese platter. Fancy things up by crusting it to create an Herb and Peanut Goat Cheese Log or whip up single-serve Goat Cheese Bruschetta Bites.
- • Resist temptation: To encourage the “out of sight, out of mind” principle, freeze any holiday baking that’s been prepped in advance. Cut squares into smaller, bite-sized pieces so guests can enjoy an array of goodies with less guilt.
Source: Canadian Living