Staying fit and making healthy choices is important, but it’s not always easy during the holidays. Thanksgiving in particular is a difficult time of year if you’re health-conscious or watching calories. One mistake people tend to make is trying to abstain from holiday eating altogether. Instead of resisting temptation, it’s best to try snacking on more nutritious versions of your favorite recipes.
To help you stay on the straight and narrow this season, we’ve come up with 5 lighter alternatives to popular holiday dishes.
Skinless Turkey Breast
It’s hard to avoid turkey, since it’s usually the star of the show. But if you stick to a pre-determined portion size, there’s no harm done. Remove the skin and choose white meat over dark to save even more calories.
Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is a holiday favorite, but fried onions and cream-based soups aren’t exactly low in fat. Sautéed green beans and low-calorie soups can make for a healthier alternative. If you’re not ready to give up the fried onions just yet, limit yourself to a tablespoon or two.
Many people assume all salads are nutritious, but smothering any healthy food with ranch or blue cheese kind of defeats the purpose of consuming leafy greens. Avoid mayonnaise-based dressings this year, and opt for a low-fat, low-calorie option like Italian or balsamic.
Yogurt-Based Dips and Veggies
Swapping out mayonnaise and sour cream with non-fat Greek yogurt can cut an unbelievable amount of calories without compromising taste. Whip up a batch of yogurt-based ranch or French onion dip this Thanksgiving for everyone to enjoy. While you’re at it, replace the potato chips with fresh veggies like carrots and celery.
No holiday feast is complete until it’s finished off with a heaping helping of apple pie, right? But with just one slice, you’ve reached your sugar and fat quota for the day! Baked apples topped with cinnamon and a whipped topping can satisfy your craving for sweets without all the unwanted calories.
Getting hungry yet? We hope these lighter alternatives to classic appetizers, entrees and desserts will help you follow through with your fitness goals. But if you slip up, don’t stress! Go for an after-dinner walk or jog with the family and get back into your routine when the holidays wind down.
Do you have a healthy holiday recipe you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it on Facebook!