Prevention & Recovery

22 holiday weight-loss tips

By: By Jodi Robinson

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

22 holiday weight-loss tips

By: By Jodi Robinson
Holidays are a time for family friends and, let's not forget, food. But the season doesn't have to end with you packing on the pounds. Just follow the principles of balance and moderation – take small portions, eat slowly and savour each bite. With a dash of know-how and a sprinkle of creativity, you can transform the traditional high-fat, high-calorie fare into healthy dishes for the whole family. Making the effort means you can have the occasional indulgence.

Instead of: Milk chocolate (1 oz/30 g)
Choose: Dark chocolate (1 oz/30 g)
You'll save: your health. Dark chocolate has antioxidants that protect against damaging effects of LDL cholesterol.

Instead of: Roasted, salted mixed nuts
Choose: Trail mix with dried fruit and nuts, no salt added
You'll save: at least 50 calories and nine grams of fat per 1/4-cup (50 mL) serving.

Instead of: Dark turkey meat (drumstick, thigh), with skin
Choose: White turkey meat (breast), no skin
You'll save: 75 calories and nine grams of fat for every 3-oz (90 g) serving (about the size of a deck of cards).

Instead of: Mashed potatoes made with butter and cream (10% M.F.)
Choose: Mashed potatoes made with low-fat sour cream and 1% milk
You'll save: more than 100 calories and 12 grams of fat per 1/2-cup (125 mL) serving.

Instead of: White roll slathered with 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
Choose: Small crusty whole wheat dinner roll, no butter
You'll save: 200 calories and 13 grams of fat (plus you'll gain two grams of fibre).

Instead of: Creamy potato salad
Choose: Bean salad with low-fat vinaigrette
You'll save: 30 calories and four grams of fat for 1/4 cup (50 mL). The fibre in beans has other health benefits, too.

Instead of: 1 slice white bread
Choose: 1 small whole wheat pita or 2 slices flatbread
You'll save: one to two grams of fibre per serving.

Instead of: Potato chips
Choose: Baked tortilla chips
You'll save: 80 calories and 10 grams of fat per 15 chips. (Tip: Dip tortillas in salsa, which is low in fat and calories.)

Instead of: Cheddar cheese
Choose: Mozzarella
You'll save: roughly 30 per cent of the calories and fat per 1-1/2-oz (45 g) serving (about the size of three dominoes).

Instead of: Devilled eggs made with regular mayonnaise
Choose: Devilled eggs made with low-fat mayonnaise
You'll save: 30 calories and two grams of fat per appetizer.

Page 1 of 2 -- more great holiday weight-loss tips on page 2.

This story was originally titled "Taster's Choice," in the January 2008 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
Instead of: Potato chips (20) and ranch dip
Choose: Vegetable platter with 3 tbsp (45 mL) chickpea hummus
You'll save: more than 175 calories. And you'll gain antioxidant vitamins that might protect against some cancers.

Instead of: 3 large breaded fried shrimp in 1 tbsp (15 mL) tartar sauce
Choose: 6 large boiled or steamed shrimp (with lemon juice, freshly squeezed)
You'll save: 170 calories and 16 grams of fat

Instead of: Regular salad dressing
Choose: Low-calorie salad dressing
You'll save: at least 50 calories and up to 10 grams of fat per 1-tbsp (15 mL) serving.

Instead of: Butter/hard margarine
Choose: Soft, non-hydrogenated margarine
You'll save: you heart, by avoiding saturated and trans fats. One serving should be the size of the tip of your thumb.

Instead of: Mayonnaise on your leftover turkey sandwich
Choose: Cranberry sauce
You'll save: 50 calories and seven grams fat per 1-tbsp (15 mL) serving.

Instead of: Regular eggnog
Choose: Low-fat eggnog (or add skim milk to half the regular eggnog)
You'll save: almost one-quarter of your daily fat requirement per 1-cup (250 mL) serving.

Instead of: Sweet dessert wine
Choose: Wine spritzer (dry red or white wine with club soda)
You'll save: half the calories.

Instead of: Flavoured latte topped with whipped cream
Choose: Skim milk mocha beverage with a mini candy cane
You'll save: at least 150 calories and 17 grams of fat per large-size beverage.

Instead of: A martini, daiquiri or other mixed drink
Choose: Vodka with diet soda
You'll save: nearly 400 calories per standard-size drink. Mixed drinks are loaded with sugar-laden juices, mixers or liqueurs.

Instead of: 1/6 pumpkin pie with 3 tbsp (45 mL) whipped cream
Choose: 1/12 pumpkin pie with no whipped cream
You'll save: 150 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Instead of: 1 slice fruitcake (43 g)
Choose: 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh fruit with 1/4 cup (50 mL) low-fat yogurt
You'll save: almost 50 calories and three grams of fat.

Instead of: 1/6 pecan pie
Choose: 1/12 angel food cake, strawberries and 3 tbsp (45 mL) low-fat whipped cream
You'll save: more than 300 calories and 19 grams of fat

Still worried about holiday weight gain? Read about the 5 sneaky things that make you gain weight.

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Prevention & Recovery

22 holiday weight-loss tips