In the bustle of the holiday season, it is especially important not to forget about eating habits. There are many ways to carefully consider healthy eating during the holidays: consciously add more whole foods to recipes, freeze tempting goodies, prepare more healthy homemade alternatives to restaurant dishes, etc., etc.
Try to cook holiday meals at home
Meetings with friends and relatives who have come to stay for the holidays often turn into overeating. But if you decide to cook food at home, control over the ingredients and nutritional value of the dishes will be entirely in your hands, and this is the best option both in terms of health and in terms of finances.
To make cooking easier this time of year, try cooking on weekends for weekly use. “Cozy” casseroles, hearty stews and soups, as well as fragrant salads, can be prepared in advance and quickly heated and served. Read our article on stockpiling basic products and stock up on everything you need.
Tips for choosing healthier foods and nutrition
Many of our favorite holiday foods consist of hearty, “heavy” foods and overly processed ingredients. Whole foods such as legumes, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds have an improved nutritional profile and are often much more nutritious than heavy processed foods.
To include healthier foods in your daily diet, start by replacing whole wheat with white bread. Instead of white rice, go for packed rice, because it contains 3 g more fiber per serving. Studies have shown that increasing fiber intake can improve weight control.
When you want a snack, eat a handful of seeds and nuts instead of cookies. Nuts contain healthy unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Scientific studies have shown that moderate consumption of nuts can lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
Since beans contain a lot of fiber, it is not inferior to meat in caloric value and nutritional value. Try using beans as a base for vegetarian stews. Dried beans are less salty and softer in texture than canned ones. Lentils in texture resembles meat, which also makes it an ideal substitute for meat, the basis for soups and casseroles.
Reduce Refined Sugar Holidays
On holidays, sweet sweets surround us everywhere. Unfortunately, studies show that abuse of refined sugar can lead to weight gain and digestive problems. Try monitoring your sugar intake with the food control app. Such programs help users identify patterns in eating habits and can give an idea of which ones to change.
Baking, chocolate, cookies, cakes and muffins, as a rule, contain a lot of sugar.Try to preserve such sweets so that you occasionally treat yourself to a small amount, and keep the goodies out of sight so that the temptation is not so great. You can make baking more healthy and bake it yourself by adding applesauce, dates or stevia instead of cane sugar. Instead of milk chocolate, prefer high-quality dark chocolate of the highest grade. In general, dark chocolate is more flavorful and has a higher nutritional value.
Many holiday juices and drinks also contain a lot of sugar. To resist this temptation, instead of fruit juice or smoothies, try to eat a piece of whole fruit. Or try making your own drinks using healthy alternatives to sweeteners like stevia, honey, monk fruit xylitol or coconut sugar.
Freeze pastries and other holiday gifts
On holidays, people often bake each other with delicious gifts, and when they are stored in the kitchen, the temptation to overeat is too great. Fortunately, classic New Year’s sweets such as cinnamon rolls, iris, chocolate, cakes and cookies are well kept in the freezer.
When you are presented with sweets, just pour them into a suitable container and put them in the freezer. Freezing treats will help control your cravings for sweets more efficiently than storing sweets in a refrigerator or cupboard. Before eating, the frozen product needs to be thawed, usually it takes several minutes. The peak of cravings for sweets subsides after a maximum of 15 minutes, especially if you are distracted by other things. By the time the candies unfreeze, the craving for sweets may disappear altogether.
Frozen pastries can be stored longer, it can come in handy when preparing fast-food dishes for holiday gatherings.
How to control serving sizes — practical tips
It is especially important to control the portion size on New Year’s holidays, because it is during this period that people tend to overeat pretty much. Yes, sometimes it’s impossible to find out how many calories are in a piece of grandmother’s pie, so it’s better to eat half the usual portion — this will help reduce the total amount of calories and sugar consumed.
During festive feasts, eat from a salad plate, and not from a regular dinner plate, so it will be easier for you to control the volume of servings. You can still share a serving with a friend or leave half of the food to take home.
Practice informed nutrition during the holidays
Conscious eating can help slow down the festive confusion, and eating the food itself will be much more enjoyable. Instead of filling your stomach thoughtlessly, mindfulness techniques help savor the aromas, textures, and nuances of every piece you eat. Often this leads to a decrease in the total amount of calories consumed and an increase in the pleasure of eating.
In the New Year, people are so busy that they eat while standing or while working or talking on the phone. To be more conscious about food, try eating at a clean table and turning off phones and entertainment devices while eating. If possible, nutritionists offer to always eat at a certain time and in the same place.
Conscious nutrition also includes the ability to distinguish between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Instead of jamming boredom, anxiety, or sadness, people who practice conscious nutrition learn to eat when they are physically hungry. A rumbling stomach and low energy levels are signs of physical hunger. Mastering the skill is only in response to these signals can improve a person’s relationship with food on holidays and throughout the year.
Bring healthy food to parties and family gatherings
Family gatherings, corporate parties and other New Year celebrations … — during the holidays, social ties only get stronger.Food at such events is usually fatty and sweet, and finding a healthy alternative to it can be difficult. As a result, party regulars may find that they are eating food that they don’t really need.
To correct this situation, bring healthy food with you to the party and share it with everyone. So you ensure yourself a healthy diet and you can control the composition, presence of allergens, calorie content and nutritional value of food.
Cooking Homemade Desserts with Good Diet Recipes
Holiday desserts often contain preservatives, potential allergens and packaged ingredients with low nutritional value. To prevent stomach ache from eating these unfamiliar, too fatty foods, try cooking these healthy holiday desserts according to our recipes.
Homemade cakes are a good reason to add more vegetables to it. For example, brownies can be made from sweet potatoes or black beans, this will give it a smooth texture, and the avocado will create a creamy base for chocolate mousse. To make healthy hot chocolate at home, take cocoa powder and a natural sweetener instead of refined cocoa or hot chocolate mixes.
The use of spices, such as allspice and cinnamon, will give the dishes a special festive taste. Supplements such as peppermint, orange extract and ginger make the dish more flavorful, but practically do not add calories to it. When preparing pies, we recommend using spelled flour — it gives the dough a sweet nutty taste. Such flour contains more fiber, niacin, iron and zinc than wheat flour.