Skip the Seasonal Seven: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain, Part 2

If you’ve already mastered the first three tips to stay fit during the holiday season (hint: it takes 5 minutes and you can do it right now, no matter where you are), you’re ready to check out the next three secrets to avoiding the traditional holiday slide into the no-button zone: Swap, Smile, and See.

  1. Swap.  If you’re doing any holiday cooking, try out some of these healthy substitutions to lighten up your favorite recipes.Swap…
    applesauce or canned pumpkin for butter or oil in cakes and cookies
    broth for cream or milk in gravies and soups
    stevia for sugar in nearly any recipe
    crisp lettuce leaves for bread or tortillas in many sandwiches and wraps
    fun veggie/fruit sticks or slices (think peppers, cucumbers, golden beets, celeriac, jicama, broccoli stalks, radicchio leaves or wedges, asparagus, baked sweet potato slices, apples…not just the regular celery and carrots) instead of chips and crackers
    cooked greens or broccoli for pasta in many casseroles…or even instead of bread cubes in stuffing!  (You can also try cubed squash in place of bread in many stuffing recipes – just decrease the liquid by about 1/3 and be prepared to increase the cooking time slightly.)And when you’re done swapping, remember to:
    – Use high-impact ingredients (bright and flavorful herbs, rich spices) to keep your recipes exciting.
    – Instead of mixing cheese into a dish, use it only as a topping – you’ll still have the pretty top layer and all the flavor, but you will reduce the amount of cheese by up to 75%
    – Choose to keep a few key calorie-dense ingredients when modifying a recipe.  Maybe the splash of heavy cream is worth it to finish your soup – especially if you’ve already swapped out the rest of the milk for broth
  2. Smile…by choosing fun workouts that you really love during this season, and by focusing on the feeling your get from working out.  If it’s not fun, you might be all the more willing to bump fitness to the bottom of your priority list (but don’t worry, there’s another 10-minute, no-equipment blast in this email to keep you on track).
  3. See your motivation by leaving yourself at least three reminders that work for your lifestyle.  Phone or computer background images, well-place post-its, photos on the fridge…you decide what will keep your goals fresh in your mind.

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