The holidays will soon be here and along with that time of the year comes entertaining.  I love the holiday parties, brunches and get-togethers.  It is so much fun to visit with old friends and family and make new ones. Holiday parties are a wonderful time to catch up on the news and find out what everyone is doing. Who doesn’t love sampling all of the delicious holiday treats at the buffet table?  I know that the holiday cookies are one of my favorite parts of the season – but is there a way to make them a little bit healthier?

How to make your meals healthier during the holidays.

Learning how to make your meals healthier during the holidays will help you keep the holiday weight gain to a minimum. No, I’m not going to tell you to not eat any holiday treats and never enjoy a glass of eggnog.  That’s not realistic for me and it’s probably not realistic for you either. There are ways that you can make your meals healthier during the holidays without feeling deprived.

  • Don’t skip meals. Skipping a meal will only make it more likely that you will go overboard when you get to the party.  Instead, have something light like a salad before you leave so you aren’t starving.
  • Make healthy substitutions. Did you know replacing a cup of sour cream with a cup of plain low-fat yogurt can help save nearly 300 calories? Trust me, your guests won’t know the difference.
  • Choose baked or grilled foods over fried foods. This is one of the easiest ways to cut fat and calories from your meals.
  • Choose fresh over canned fruits. A fruit cup made with fresh fruit is healthier than one made with canned fruits in heavy or light syrup.
  • Replace white sugar with healthier alternatives like Stevia or maple syrup. When the party is not at your home, slip a few packets of Stevia in your handbag to sweeten your coffee while you’re out.
  • Choose one treat. If you know you are going to be sampling that chocolate cheesecake for dessert, skip the glass of wine.  If you know you want a heavy cream soup, make sure to choose a lighter entree.
  • Stop eating before your plate is empty. Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your body to recognize that it’s full?
  • Skip the soda.  Choose water, flavored water or mineral water instead.  It’s a great way to reduce the sugar and artificial ingredients.

Now that you know how to make your meals healthier during the holidays, which steps will you be taking?