With lots of seasonal treats during the holidays, it can be difficult to stay on track with healthy eating habits. Not only is there lots of food and alcohol, but there’s less time to stay active—which can lead to weight gain.
Let’s not add more stress to the joyous season. We’ve compiled a helpful list of things you can do to swap in and swap out and keep your holidays healthier.
If you’re bringing baked goods to your holiday party, try swapping out ingredients for a healthier alternative that guests won’t even notice. Whether you’re baking Grandma’s coveted chocolate chip cookies or Aunt Sally’s beloved banana bread, take advantage of our swapped ingredient suggestions, pictured to the right.
Everyone loves to hover over the appetizer table. It’s usually filled with chips, cheese and meat platters, candied walnuts, baked brie and more. Those are all wonderful snacks, but they pack on the calories—and fill you up—before the grand meal even begins. Take advantage of healthier appetizers so you’re not overly full before your dinner. For example, swap out the chips and provide vegetables with hummus. Hummus is packed with plant-based protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals. That’s a gift wrapped up in a salty, garlicky bite.
Many people partake in seasonal punch, cocktails and more during the holiday season. Alcohol is generally involved when there’s a celebration. To keep your liquid calories in check, try sticking with wine. Wine has fewer calories than most alcoholic drinks. If you want to go a step further, red wine is best because it contains an antibiotic believed to have healthy heart benefits. Drink smart and be sure to enjoy plenty of water throughout events to stay hydrated.
This season of festivities often doesn’t allow much time for physical activity, which is a necessity for all of the extra food and drinks consumed. It’s important to take time for your health. Swap sitting on the couch after dinner or during your lunch break for a family walk—don’t forget to bundle up! Find small ways to keep yourself moving throughout the day, whether it’s some quick stretches at your desk or turning cleaning into a work out. Remember, every little bit counts.
Stay smart this holiday season and swap out some decadent choices for healthier options. It’s the most wonderful time of year, so enjoy it while still staying on track with your health.