Like it or not, food is a centerpiece of most Christmas gatherings. For people who are struggling to maintain or lose weight, or just want to eat healthy, this can be a difficult time of year. How can we avoid packing on the extra pounds when we’re surrounded by tons of not-so-healthy food options? Emily Gorman, Catholic Dietitian, shared some tips on Morning Air® to help you make some healthier choices this Christmas:
“The main key, especially with Christmas parties and events to go to on the weekends, is to make sure you don’t skip any meals. It’s still important to have breakfast and have lunch and maybe to have a healthy snack before you go to that party, so that your body is still in that routine. So often we think, well I’m just going to skip this meal or wait until the party because I don’t want to miss out on any of the food and I want to be able to enjoy myself. But so often then we overindulge and we feel guilty afterwards.”
During the week, “Try to bring your lunch from home. That way you can bring a whole-wheat sandwich or homemade soup or a salad and some vegetables, even if you bring some leftovers from the crockpot dinner the night before. That’s what I’m really trying to focus on because I know every weekend is filled with parties. This week and the previous week I’m trying to bring a salad and some brown rice and some chicken leftover from what I prepared the week before, so at least I know I’m getting in a really good meal during the week and I’m getting in those extra veggies. So if on the weekend I do splurge a little, I know that on Monday I’m going to get back on track,” says Groman.
“I say to a lot of my clients, just use regular sugar. Use regular brown sugar or white sugar; don’t go for any of that artificial stuff because sometimes their baking product will come out different or it will come out too sweet or not sweet enough. I usually don’t change very much when it comes to the sugar content. If I’m making brownies or muffins, I usually do reduce the sugar by a quarter or by half, because sometimes you don’t need all that sugar,” says Groman. “As far as reducing fat, I’m a huge fan of using applesauce or bananas or a mashed avocado. That can help reduce the vegetable oil, which isn’t really a great oil to use or incorporate into our diet. You can use canned pumpkin which some of us might have leftover from Thanksgiving. Those [substitutes] cut the fat right in half but can also help provide that moisture.”