Between busy schedules, family, friends, food, and everything else that goes along with the holidays, eating healthy may feel impossible during this time of year.  The National Institute of Health estimates that Americans gain between 1 and 2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Try using these easy substitutions below to enjoy your holiday while continuing to follow a healthy diet.

These easy recipe modifications can help make cooking and baking healthier without having a big impact on taste.

Healthy Cooking Substitions

You can also experiment with extracts like peppermint or almond to add flavor to desserts in place of sugar. Vary your herbs and spices in place of salt. Lastly, decode the menu and choose items that are baked, grilled or steamed. Steer clear of items that are fried, crispy or Au Gratin.

The holiday season also tends to be filled with holiday parties. These celebrations can tempt even the healthiest eaters. Here are some tips to try to prevent over-eating.

  • Grab a protein-filled or low-fat snack before heading out. Skipping meals before a big holiday feast often leads to overindulgence.
  • Avoid socializing next to where the food is. This can help prevent the temptation to keep eating.
  • At group dinners, bring a healthy option to share. This way you will know that you have at least one healthy food choice. You can also go for the lean meats and load up on fruits and veggies.
  • Engage in conversation while eating, so you can slow down and give your body time to realize it is full.
  • Go ahead and sample it all, but just take a little bite-size portion.
  • Be mindful of what you are drinking. Alcoholic beverages, regular sodas & eggnog can quickly add up the calories. Drink plenty of water!

Try this recipe for an easy Orange Cranberry Sauce.

Our registered dietitians can help you follow a doctor-prescribed diet, set and achieve nutrition and healthy lifestyle goals. Learn more information about our personalized nutrition counseling and support or call 816.691.5267.