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Healthy Holiday Favorites

During the holidays, it can be difficult to have a family feast while keeping nutritional value in mind. Luckily, there are plenty of low-calorie holiday recipes for the table this year. Yes, healthy holiday alternatives are available without having to forego traditional holiday favorites. After all, it’d be a shame to ignore good holiday nutrition after working so hard to lose weight. Expert Surgical offers customized diet and nutrition plans, so this holiday season, we suggest re-thinking your menu and slimming it down to become healthier, lighter fare! Sticking to a diet is never easy, but it is especially challenging during the holiday season. Stay determined and enjoy the best of both worlds: healthy holiday nutrition mixed in with holiday favorites.

Holiday Favorites and Holiday Nutrition

As calories are measured in units of energy, it is important to utilize those units as efficiently as possible. Which means, plan on burning off the calories ingested before they turn into body fat. After all, there is no point in filling up the tank of gas if one isn’t going anywhere. Here is a list of average caloric content in commonly served dishes at holiday gatherings:

  • Turkey (Dark Meat) – 3 ½ oz = 238 calories
  • Turkey (White Meat) – 3 ½ oz = 194 calories
  • Mashed Potatoes – 237 calories/serving (400 calories w/gravy)
  • Green Bean Casserole – 142 calories/serving
  • Stuffing – 360 calories/serving
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes – 320 calories/serving
  • Dinner Rolls – 77 calories/roll
  • Deviled Eggs – 126 calories/full egg
  • Creamed Spinach Dip – 57 calories/per tablespoon

One serving of each these dishes, consumed in a single sitting, would average 1,751 calories (not including pie). The United States Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA) for daily caloric intake ranges between 2,000 and 2,200, depending on one’s gender and physical activity. Below are some calorie cutting ideas to not overburden the Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, which is the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going. This is especially helpful when the holiday feast is followed by the inevitable holiday nap.

Although the holidays are traditionally a time of indulgence, these suggestions help marginalize an overload to the metabolism and minimize winter weight gain.

Healthy Holiday Alternatives

Who wants to hit the gym right after a nice family feast? The answer: nobody. So, why not keep the caloric intake to a minimum by making slight adjustments to the family meal? When preparing the familiar holiday dishes in the list above, other ingredients can be used as substitutes.

Turkey
Turkey is a long-standing favorite for a family get together. Although the white meat can be drier when prepared, it is leaner and condiments like cranberry sauce or chutney can go a long way in keeping the lean portions moist and delicious. Don’t skimp on flavor…skimp on calories!!!

Mashed Potatoes
This is a hard one to pass on during a big family meal. The best way to curb the appetite for a hearty, dairy packed potato dish is to make some slight adjustments. For example, prepare a healthy mashed cauliflower dish instead.

Green Bean Casserole
Casseroles are high in fat, but this low-calorie holiday recipe keeps this holiday favorite comforting.

Stuffing
A good turkey needs stuffing, and this recipe keeps holiday nutrition in mind.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
Healthy holiday alternatives for all things candied require sugar substitutes, such as all-natural molasses. This recipe for candied sweet potatoes also keeps nutritional value in mind.

Creamed Spinach Dip
If a spinach dip is common for holiday recipes with the family, try using greek yogurt instead of cream as a low-calorie holiday recipe. Kale is a superfood, and can also be used as a substitute for spinach. It is high in vitamins and fiber providing added holiday nutrition. Using water crackers instead of toast points also makes room for a healthy holiday alternative.

Need a Weight Loss Plan?

Expert Surgical has many options for weight loss surgery, but we go the extra step by fully supporting our patients throughout the entire weight loss process. We design customized nutrition plans and help our patients learn to make the right diet choices for a complete lifestyle change. Contact us today to learn more about our bariatric surgical procedures and our lifestyle change programs.  Cheers, and best wishes this holiday season!

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