We all know it can be challenging to stay healthy and avoid weight gain during the holiday season. With parties approaching, there will most likely be an endless supply of food and drinks, it is difficult to resist the temptation to overindulge; however choosing a few healthier options can go a long way in cutting back some calories. When we think about holiday weight gain, many people’s first thoughts are about all the food we consume from snacks to large meals with family and friends and of course all the tasty desserts. However, a lot of calories come from the popular beverages that are always around for the holidays (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Not only are these drinks around at holiday parties, but about every coffee shop advertises their seasonal holiday drinks that can have large amounts of calories, fat, and sugar. Here are a few simple tips to follow to make those tasty holiday beverages a bit healthier!
- Leave alcohol out of drinks when you can.
- Skip on the whipped cream- that goes for your favorite Starbucks drink as well as your homemade hot chocolate! Whipped cream can add 60-70 calories to your drink and 6-7 grams of fat.
- Try and skip out on the caramel drizzle, which can save you around 25 calories as well as added sugar.
- Skip sugary ingredients in your apple cider drink and try adding that sweetness or spice in other ways with natural, healthier options such as nutmeg, cloves, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks.
- Eggnog is a holiday classic that many people like to enjoy around the holidays, however what we might not realize is that the average 6-ounce eggnog drink can pack 435 calories and 30g of fat. Make this popular holiday beverage healthier by using low-fat or skim milk, using egg substitute, and opting for liquor free.
- In drinks that call for chocolate, try and use dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids which can reduce inflammation. (The higher the cocoa content, the better)
- Categorize those holiday beverages as desserts rather than drinks and you will be less likely to over indulge and drink more calories than necessary.
- Mix drinks with low or no calorie options such as seltzer rather than soda, and make sure you stay hydrated by having a glass of water every other drink!
Check back this week for a recipe that puts a healthy spin on classic eggnog!
By Lisa Cassata