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Indulging on classic dishes like pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, mashed potato and prime ribs is a part of the holiday fun. However, taking in too much of these could make you feel heavy and bloated. Luckily, there are a few healthy tweaks that you could do in order to help lighten up your favorite holiday treats without sacrificing the taste and your figure as well.

Cheese tray

When serving cheese, try to incorporate reduced-fat cheeses to your usual cheese selection. This way, health-conscious individuals shall have better options. Also, don’t forget to round up your cheese tray with whole grain crackers and fresh fruits like pears, apples, figs and grapes.

Mashed potato makeover

Though potatoes by themselves offer a long list of nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, you’ll be sacrificing its nutritional integrity by adding in loads of fattening ingredients like heavy cream, butter and whole milk.

To lighten up this tasty treat, use low fat buttermilk instead of full-fat dairy. Plus, ramp up the flavor by adding in spices and fresh herbs like roasted garlic or chipotle pepper.

Slim with skim

During the Christmas season, it’s fine to indulge on peppermint lattes and hot chocolate. However, considering the amount of food you’ll be taking in, it is best to trim down on the calories where you can. So, instead of whole milk, request for skimmed milk. By doing so, you could save up to 100 calories per 16 ounce serving.

Cut the crust

If you’re the type of person who eats pumpkin pie just for the filling, you might want to skip on the crust completely. By doing so, you could shave off at least 100 calories per slice.

Stick to your usual filling recipe and pour it into individual ramekins. Then, bake it until it sets. Top it off with whipped cream and you’ll get a delicious pumpkin custard with a cute presentation to match.

Rethink your roast

For meat lovers, a holiday celebration would never be complete without a perfectly cooked slab of prime rib. However, at 720 calories per 6 ounce slice, the stats alone could make your heart skip a beat.

For an equally tasty meal without all the damage, you might want to consider lean beef tenderloin since it has about half of the calories. If this does not work you, you could also try other lean holiday entrees like pork tenderloin or roast turkey.

 

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Healthy eating is not about depriving yourself from the food you love or maintaining a slim figure. It’s about staying as healthy as possible and feeling great about it. Fortunately, this could all be attained by sticking to some nutritional basics and applying them to your daily diet.

In this article, we’ll help you plan and create healthy and tasty meals and expand your range of healthy and delectable food choices. Read on and enjoy the perks of sticking to a healthier eating habit.

Simplify

Instead of obsessing yourselves over calorie counts and measuring food sizes, think of your diet in terms of freshness, variety and color. By doing this, it would be easier for you choose a variety of healthy foods without the complications of counting calories and serving sizes. Focus on the foods you love, create easy recipes and incorporate fresh ingredients.

Make gradual changes

Shifting to a healthier diet cannot be done overnight. That’s not realistic either. Also, a person who tries to change everything at once tends to cheat or easily give up on their new diet plan.

Take small steps such as adding a vegetable or fruit to your diet once in a while. Also, when cooking, you could switch from butter to olive oil. As you start to adapt to these changes, feel free to add in more healthy foods into your diet.

Incorporate exercise and water in your diet

Water helps flush out toxins and waste products in our system. With the lack of water in our body, this could result to dehydration; thus, causing headache, lack of energy and tiredness. Staying hydrated is important.

Most people mistake thirst for hunger. Drink a glass of water to know if you are really hunger or you’re just thirsty. This could also be helpful for people who are on a diet.

Find an activity that you enjoy and add it to your daily routine, just like adding in a few fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Exercise comes with a long list of benefits. And you can get all these by staying active and spending a few minutes a day exercising.

By adhering to a regular exercise program, plus, incorporating a few servings of healthy foods, you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Hard to ignore all those tempting sweets during the holidays? Do you dread the holidays with all those tempting, fattening foods? This year, be prepared for the season with these tips from WebMD.com

1. Exercise, exercise, exercise

“Setting a regular fitness schedule is the key to keeping weight off in winter,” says Lisa Giannetto, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the Diet and Fitness Center at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “Come five o’clock, when it’s pitch black and cold out, you’re a lot more likely to go to your warm home and watch TV if you don’t have a regular fitness schedule that includes a variety of types of exercises.”

2. Never go to a party hungry

“Fruits and vegetables are where we need to get our carbohydrates, and not from alcohol and brownies,” says Jule Anne Henstenberg, RD, director of the nutrition program at La Salle University. “Use high-fiber fruits and vegetables to fill up before a party.” Eat a bunch of baby carrots, a big salad, or an apple, for example, to curb your desire for empty party-food calories.

“When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we may take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise,” says Cheskin. “We even have seen this finding replicated in animal models.”

So much of our eating is not related to hunger, he says. The more variety of foods available at a meal, the more likely you are to eat more food.

“The stress of a social setting and an environment with many food choices and alcohol will tend to foster overeating,” Cheskin says. “So these are good times to be on guard.”

3. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since “many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and medical director at Intelligent Health Center. “Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories,” says Isaacs, who is also the author of Hormonal Balance: Understanding Hormones, Weight and Your Metabolism.

4. Practice calorie damage control

“If you do overeat, don’t ‘fall off the wagon.'” says Isaacs. “Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise.”

And get exercise in anywhere you can, says Giannetto. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break and after dinner. At work, use stairs rather than the elevator.

“When you get just 100 fewer calories per day through dieting and exercise or both, that is the equivalent of 10 pounds per year.”

5. Remember to have fun

“The main reason you’re at a party is to see people and celebrate, not to eat a lot of high-calorie foods,” says Cheskin. “So be aware of why you’re there and make that your focus.”