5 Hacks For A Healthy Holiday

Older African American Black woman grocery shoppingThe holidays are upon us. The days are getting shorter, temperatures are falling and comfort food is calling. All these forces have combined to ruin your motivation to stay healthy and fit. On average, Americans gain a little over a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which isn’t a lot on its own but it can add up over time if combined with poor eating and exercise habits during the year. And if your goal is to lose weight, this time of year can bring some major obstacles. But fear not! These five hacks will help you avoid the seasonal stumbles:

1. Plan to eat ahead of holiday celebrations.

Before you get your party on, make sure you get your fill of some nutritious foods first. Your coworker’s brownies look a lot less tempting after you’ve filled up on a hearty soup straight from your crockpot. Especially when there are office holiday celebrations, bring your healthy lunch to work so that you’re not ravenous when the treats come out. Try to eat veggies like broccoli, spinach, and other high fiber foods like beans, to keep you full for hours.

2. Be that friend who brings the healthy dish.

Sure, Tasha makes the best mac and cheese, and Romeo never disappoints with his bacon wrapped anything. But this year, rather than competing to bring the most decadent dish, your focus is on making a great healthy dish! The office might not gush over your roasted Brussels sprouts, but you can happily fill your plate without the guilt. Try some of these healthy holiday staples for your next gathering:

  • Sweet Potato Casserole – This recipe gives you the sweetness you crave from traditional sweet potato dishes but eases up on butter and sugar. Brown sugar and pecans add a sweet and crunchy topping that won’t weigh you down.
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes: The only thing missing from this holiday favorite is the potato. The mashed cauliflower is ultra filling, but a lot more healthy. Once you add buttermilk and butter, you won’t miss the spuds or the calories.
  • “Holiday” Kale Salad: This dish is a two-for-one. It’s delicious, and the red and green from the cranberries and kale leaves make it 100% holiday appropriate. Top your greens with a fruity dressing and you have the perfect starter before you indulge in the rest of your holiday meal.