Healthy Holiday Substitutions

Obesity Prevention III- Healthy Holiday Substitutions  presentpic

     Of all our talks on Obesity, Metabolism, and Portion Control, we have finally wrapped them up in a small box with a bow on top, adding a card that says “To: The Holidays”. Everything you’ve learned so far is preparing you for this moment. Holidays are the time of the year where the gift that keeps on giving is food and with food comes weight.

  • Did you know that Americans gain an average of 1 Pound during holiday season? Why? Two reasons:
  1. All that holiday food
  2. Less/ no exercise due to cold weather

In this Lesson we’ll discuss a few things:

  1. How healthy substitutions can be incorporated in your favorite holiday meals
  2. How spending more time away from the plate and with family and friends will lead to a better, activity filled day.
  3. Different games and activities to do with the family.
  • Healthy Substitutions Chart
  1. Holiday recipes tend to use a lot of fat, sugar, and cream for their ingredients. What if you could substitute such ingredients for healthier ones and still have the same great taste? Well you can!

Check this out!

For this ingredient Substitute this healthier option Benefits
Sour cream, butter, cream cheese Low-fat Greek yogurt Reduced fat, increase protein
Oil in baking Apple sauce Reduced fat,
Sugar (white refined) Apple sauce, Honey, Agave Nectar Natural sugar
Butter Avocado puree, coconut oil Trade cholesterol unsaturated fats
Pasta Spaghetti squash Reduced calories
Soda Carbonated with fruit No calories from high sugar drinks
Iceberg Lettuce Kale, chard, dark leafy greens Increased fiber and vitamins
Syrup Pureed fruit Less processed sugar + fiber
1 Whole Egg 2 Egg whites Decreased fat and cholesterol
White flour Whole wheat flour Increased nutrient density + fiber
Mashed potatoes Mashed cauliflower Reduced calories


  • Physical Activity

Before you skip this section, I’m not talking about lifting weights or doing a 10k run. It’s the holidays, you need a break. All I’m saying is that you don’t necessarily have to spend the whole day on the couch. We’re talking about fun activities, being active with your family and friends. Your whole family is around for the holidays, spend time with them, here are some fun suggestions:

  • Have a Family Game Time: Play Soccer, baseball, football
  • Have a walk with some with a relative instead of watching T.V.
  • Whip out a board game like twister or Pictionary (games that will get you moving).
  • Physical Activities relieve stress so move around instead of sitting down. Exercise helps you sleep better, and you’ll feel more energized and productive during the holidays.

Holidays are a busy time of the year. Families come together and enjoy each other’s company. Great food is past around. You could use the excuse of saying “its one day out of the year that I can eat however much I like”, but if you’re the type who says that, chances are you’re not as committed to being healthy or losing weight as you might think.

We’ve learned about Obesity, Metabolism, and Portion control. Now we’ve learned about healthy substitutions. The holidays are going to be a test on what you’ve learned, and how much you’re committed to having a healthy lifestyle.

The most important thing to take away- Enjoy the time with your family and friends, having fun activities with them doesn’t just help with your metabolism, but brings the family together. You can still cook that famous Christmas dessert everyone secretly arrived for, but try it with the substituted ingredients. You’ll find out that it tastes just as great and is a lot healthier.

Happy Holidays!

holiday reef


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