One of the most enjoyed parts of the holidays are the parties, dinners, buffets and snacks to graze on. Unfortunately with all these treats come extra calories and pounds. Research shows the average American eats approximately 4,500 calories from a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This includes around 229 grams of fat from one meal. Most people have two others meals on this holiday!
The average American gains one to two pounds over the holiday season and although that doesn’t seem like a lot those pounds do add up contributing to people being overweight or obese throughout their life. Therefore, rather than a strict diet and exercise regime during the holidays consider shifting your goal to weight maintenance. This should be much more attainable for the average person. Doing this allows you to still enjoy the holiday foods while not resulting in weight gain.
Trim calories whenever you can without a loss of flavor or tradition. Some ideas for making some of your favorite foods healthier are listed below.
Use low fat margarine
Replace eggs with eggbeaters or whites
Use chicken or turkey sausage rather than pork sausage
Low sodium, fat free chicken broth is a good choice
Use whole grain bread
Simple peas or corn is healthier than creamed versions
If casseroles are a must- use low fat soup instead of regular cream soup
Increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe
Use crunchy whole grain cereal instead of fried onions
Make with low-fat cream cheese or lite butter
Replace some of the potatoes with steamed cauliflower—no one may even notice
Use 2% or low-fat milk or buttermilk instead of high fat versions
Make sure to end your meal with a great dessert that is sure to be a hit and is still relatively low in calories and fat.
This dessert uses gingerbread cake and sugar free butterscotch pudding.
1 package gingerbread cake mix (14 ½ ounces)
1 ¼ cups water
1 egg or 2 egg whites
4 packages (1 ounce each) sugar free instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg, and allspice or pumpkin pie spice
1 cartoon (12 ounces) frozen reduced –fat whipped topping, thawed
Bake the cake per instructions on the package. Once completely cooled crumble the cake and set aside ¼ cup crumbles for garnish.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended.
In a trifle bowl or large glass serving bowl layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with the ¼ cup reserved cake crumbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Makes 18 servings. Each serving has 194 calories, 6 grams of fat and 31 grams of carbohydrate.
Author: Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension.
Source: Recipes for Fall: Flavorful and Healthy– http://www.RD411.com
Healthy Holiday Food and Diet Tips. –www.WebMD.com