By: Lindsey Jelinek, PT, DPT, CSCS
We all know the challenge of staying in shape during the winter. I mean, who can resist that extra helping of stuffing and pecan pie at Thanksgiving, or the chocolate and peppermint sweets around Christmas? Here are a few tips and tricks on ways to stay healthy:
Everything starts with breakfast: Start the day off right with at least one fruit or vegetable and eggs, nuts, or oatmeal. This will help stave off hunger and prevent overeating while you are waiting for the big lunch or dinner.
Keep the turkey traditional: Turkey is a lean meat with only 153 calories per serving and contains nutrients like protein, selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, however the calories can definitely sky rocket when you start basting it in butter and trying to deep fry it. Use a sugar free chicken broth for basting and stick to the oven when cooking to keep the calories down.
Substitute stuffing: Most stuffing contains fatty meats like sausage and bacon as well as a hefty amount of butter, gravy, and bread. Easy substitutions include olive oil instead of butter, using leaner meats such as turkey bacon or even veggie sausage, and taking out some of the bread and adding extra veggies instead such as butternut squash.
Keep the potatoes sweet: Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving favorite, however white potatoes may not be the best option. Sweet potatoes compared to white potatoes have more vitamin C and fiber and considerably fewer calories and total carbs.
Pack a healthy snack: Bring an apple or orange and a small bag of nuts which makes a good portable snack.
Drink wine: You heard me right, you’re allowed to have alcohol. Red wine, in particular, is high in resveratrol, a phytochemical that helps fight heart disease and cancer. If you don’t drink alcohol, try a glass of grape juice instead.
Dessert: Don’t deprive yourself! With smaller portions and healthier options you can still enjoy the sweets this season. Store bought pie crusts are filled with fattening, processed ingredients. It may be a little extra work to make your own crust but it will be worth it in the end to have a pie crust made from healthier substitutions. Fruit pies are also healthier than their creamier counterparts. Try a good apple or strawberry pie that is filled with fresh fruit!
Tea is the key: Tea has a ton of antioxidants and the liquid will help fill you up. Have a cup before dessert and it will make you less likely to binge on cake and pie.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and are able to stay on track!