I know you are enjoying the holidays with family and friends (somewhat), which usually means more food, more drinks, and foods that you probably don’t eat on a normal basis during the year. It may also mean that it’s easier to overindulge, which often leads to weight gain. And this could derail your weight loss journey from a few days, to weeks at a time.
So how can you navigate the tasty, high-calorie treats—without gaining weight? It’s simple, just eat more of these holiday staples—and leave the high-calorie ones for your aunts and uncles:
I am not sure about you, but turkey may be a traditional (or non-traditional) food to have around the holidays. Sure, Thanksgiving, yes, but Christmas it may not be.
But the truth is: turkey may be the better option. It’s low in calories and fat, and high in protein, which makes it ideal for those looking to keep their weight in check. But be sure to read the label carefully, as some turkeys contain added sodium to keep the meat moist.
And who doesn’t love the creativity of turkey leftovers? We just had turkey taquitos and they were amazing.
2. Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is a staple during the holiday season. Although some brands may be loaded with sugar, not all hot chocolate is bad for you – Yay! The reason: dark chocolate is actually a superfood—and may be good for your waistline. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols that may boost your metabolism, and help you lose weight.
But be warned: you must drink dark chocolate hot cocoa (80% cacao or higher) to reap the benefits of this holiday drink. And as always, check the sugar content on any premade mix. If it’s over 10grams, drink sparingly.
Pumpkin spice aside, this superfood is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that could make your body sing. Plus, it’s low in calories and high in vitamins A and C. At only 30 calories per cup, you can add this veggie to almost anything and it makes it healthier and you feel like it’s the holidays—no matter what time of year. Consider having more pumpkin this holiday season.
- Pumpkin chili
- Pumpkin bread (with modified sugar)
- Pumpkin soup
4. Sweet Potatoes
If you’re a potato fan, but you want to stay away from mashed potatoes and candied yams, then sweet potatoes would be your best bet. Another vegetable that contains plenty of vitamins A and C, plus antioxidants and fiber, sweet potatoes are a perfect option for those looking to enjoy potatoes—without sacrificing their progress. One medium sweet potato has 115 calories, no fat, and just 9 grams of sugar.
More good news, since the sweet potato has a lower effect on your blood sugar, it makes a great carbohydrate for those focused on a keto or low starch carb diet or who are concerned about their blood sugars rising too high.
- Sweet potato fries (air fryer)
- Sweet potato chips
- Sweet potato with a little butter, S&P
5. Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans…etc.)
Nuts seem to be a staple no matter where you go during the holidays–and rightly so. No, I’m not referring to your relatives, although we have some here that qualify for sure, I’m talking about the snack ones. Nuts are packed full of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals that will keep you burning fat all season long.
But don’t overdo it on the nuts. Although small, a couple of handfuls could add 200 or more calories to your day. You can use nuts as a pre-meal snack, which could prevent you from overeating at dinner.
Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you need to let high-calorie treats ruin all the hard work you’ve been doing. Substitute those decadent desserts, and calorie-rich foods, with these healthy holidays, treats.
Not only will you feel better, but you could also actually end up losing weight over the holidays and it could turn into a new holiday trend for you. 😉