Enjoy the Holidays: Maintain! Don’t Gain!
Holiday gathering time has started!! Use the idea of maintaining your weight through this season rather than focusing on weight loss or restriction. Don’t expect to stay on a strict plan while you watch family and friends eat everything from November through the New Year. Aim to stick to a plan that allows you to enjoy treats and seasonal food that comes with this time of year, WITHOUT gaining any weight. This is NOT the time of the year to try to lose that 5 or 10 lbs you’ve been meaning to work on all year. Make a commitment to maintain the weight you are at today and aim to not gain any extra pounds over the holidays.
With a plan like this, you’ll have no extra weight to lose with that January 1st resolution!
2 great ways to enjoy the holidays without putting on extra pounds:
- Make adjustments to ingredients in your favorite high calorie holiday dishes. If you swap out certain higher sugar/fat items you can enjoy all your favorites with less effect on BG as well as weight.
Some of the best cooking swaps include:
- Use unsweetened applesauce, banana or pumpkin as a healthier alternative to butter or oil
- Replace heavy cream in recipes with evaporated skim milk, or use a non-dairy alternative
- Substitute egg whites for whole eggs or use a combination of both.
- 2 egg whites can substitute 1 whole egg in most recipes
- Flaxmeal works as an egg substitute as well (1Tbsp flaxmeal + 3 Tbsp warm water).
- Use cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate. 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa can be a substitute for 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate in a recipe.
- Try fruit topping with a dusting of powdered sugar or sugar alternative such as Swerve instead of sugar and fat filled icings.
- Use non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- Choose low fat ice creams or frozen yogurt and stick to 1/2 cup serving or choose to make banana ice cream or lower fat/calorie options such as Halo or Wink brand.
- Bake “mini” items or cut portions into smaller sizes. The first bite of the dessert and the last bite are the most enjoyable per research – the in-between bites are just added calories ?
2. Continue your workout routine! Many studies show that those who continue normal workout routines through the holiday season have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight through the holidays. Typically no weight loss is seen, however, maintenance is the goal.
* Aim to get a good workout in the morning on a day where the social gathering is in the afternoon or evening.
* Eat healthy breakfast and lunch on days you know you’ll have more in the evening or same for earlier daytime gathering – choose to eat your normal meals without treats or extras for the rest of the day.
The wonderful benefit of both of these points is also good BG control. By swapping out ingredients that are higher in fat, BG is more likely to respond to insulin appropriately and you won’t be adding extra insulin for corrections. If you continue your exercise routine, it will help to work off many of the extra treats you may be consuming and it will help to keep BG’s in your target range.
If you’d like some assistance with recipe swapping, planning meals or even planning more precise carb counts for Grandma’s cookies give us a call at Integrated Diabetes services. We are happy to help you enjoy the holidays for all the fun they are meant to include regardless of diabetes!