We’ve compiled five easy healthy food swaps for the holidays to help you stay on track and a bonus idea. We are all inclined to overindulge between work holiday parties, events, and dinners with family and friends. However, there is something easy we can all do to stick to our health goals. Plan ahead! If you’ve planned ahead, you know what you want to do instead of eating mindlessly, especially when presented with so many food choices. To live a long and healthy life, you want to feed your body real food. Kick the habit of processed foods and make a plan for the new year.
5. Swap fruit for desserts.
Nearly everyone loves dessert, but it’s better to eat real food like fruit. Fruit is a fantastic way to enjoy something sweet without hitting every chocolate fountain on the holiday circuit. Some of our favorite snack ideas are below.
- Cinnamon Apple Nut Mix: Cut an apple into chunks (no need to peel it), sprinkle cinnamon on it (no sugar is needed because the apple is sweet), and add about 2 TB of walnuts. Stir and serve with a mini fork!
- Pears & Pecans
- Almonds & cheese cubes
4. Swap vegetables for chips.
If your favorite flavor is “crunch,” then a veggie tray is for you. Crunch your heart out with any of the following vegetables.
- carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, green peppers, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and celery.
- If you can’t deal with dipless veggies, mix dill, sea salt, and onion powder with plain yogurt. Alternatively, you can offer up a hummus dip made from chickpeas. Homemade hummus is amazing and not hard to make.
3. Drink water instead of soda, juice, or alcohol at meals.
Water is, hands down, the best liquid you can drink. It’s essential to your body. So why do so many of us drink soda at every meal? Break the habit and embrace nature’s gift to us. Want a little flavor? How about adding a slice of lemon, lime or even add cucumbers and strawberries?
2. Select baked or grilled fish over other meat options to get an extra boost of vitamins and protein.
Fish like salmon is a great option, and your brain will thank you for all of the fantastic nutrients.
1. Take Only One Serving.
Overeating is hard on your digestive system. Take one serving of food and enjoy eating it. Fill your plate with fresh, colorful vegetables, healthy fruits or nuts, and some protein. If you always stick with natural foods, your body can process fullness more readily.
Bonus: Dancing, Walking, or Mini Weights.
Do you wonder how you can burn a few more calories this holiday season? If so, go dancing! It’s probably the best way to get moving. If you can’t dance outside, take dance breaks at home. Nothing is stopping you from having more fun. If you like walking, walk a bit more. Invite a friend to walk with you. Walk to the store or park a little further from the door. Hate cold weather? Walk more once you get into the store. A few rounds in a store still count. Lastly, try out some ankle weights. While you walk around at work or home, you can burn a few more calories and get stronger in the process.