Saturday, November 13, 2010

Prevent The Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain

Some of you might think that I was a "mean old witch" for Halloween. Nothing could be further from the truth, I just finished my second Halloween holiday without  buying any candy to give out to trick or treators. This strategy has allowed me to not gain the dreaded Halloween 10-20lbs from having bags of leftover chocolate candy laying around for the next year saying EAT ME!  The second reason I did not buy any candy is because financially I can't afford it. I am dependent on relatives to pay for my groceries and to pay for my entire cost of living due to my vast number of health issues which have prevented me from working for the last 3 1/2 years. The final reason is that I do not want to help more children in the United States to become obese and diabetic by supplying them with candy.

Many people think of Holiday weight gain starting with Christmas and forget to factor in that it actually starts with Halloween. An innocent piece of candy becomes 2 pieces then 3 and just escalates till the entire bag of candy has been consumed. This all starts to add up and by Thanksgiving time you can easily gain 10 or 20 LBS. The fat, carbs, calories, and sugar just keep coming all the way thru the New Year. By this point it's possible to have actually gained up to 30 LBS which can then take you another year to lose. Then you start the cycle all over again every year. The key is not to gain any weight during the holidays in the fist place.

Holiday get-togethers nearly always involve food and lot'f of it. It's all to easy to take in an entire days or week's worth of calories during the holidays. With this in mind here are a few simple changes that you can do to make your holiday habits healthier.

Cut The Fat: The majority of traditional holiday recipes are extremely high with fat that is not necessary.
Replace Fat in Deserts, Casseroles, Main Entrees. Use Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream. Use Buttermilk for Baking Meats Instead of Frying Them.  Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oils. Use Two Egg Whites instead of One whole Eggs. Use unsweetened applesauce to replace almost all the butter, margarine, and oil in recipes. Use light or fat free cheese or use soy cheese or rice cheese to reduce calories & cholesterol.

Limit The Sugar: Cookies and other baked goods will still taste great if you substitute spices such as cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg for a portion of the sugar. To further reduce the sugar switch to Splenda for baking or to add to a sauce for pastas, chili, and other dishes. In most recipes you can remove 3/4 of the sugar or all if you prefer. Use 1/4 TSP Agave Syrup in place of 1 Cup of Honey. Use Torani Sugar-Free Syrups for Carmel, Vanilla, Hazelnut and more in baked deserts. Instead of frosting any baked goods, dust them with some cinnamon and  some Splenda.

Limit The Carbs: Holiday meals are traditionally loaded with sweet and starchy foods high in carbohydrates. Limit the carbs by substituting mashed califlower in place of regular mashed potatoes and not having any rolls or bread on the table. Use Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Bread if you choose to make a stuffing and reduce your amount of stuffing by half or more by using roasted vegetables, such as eggplant or zuchinni.

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