Simple Ways to Cut Calories this Holiday Season
The holidays are beginning. This is great for our social calendars but not so much for our eating habits. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah…. any holiday brings forth fun and tons of food. It is easy to get carried away on the festive food available and then feel pretty bummed about the complete lack of self control. With these easy tips, you can do simple things everyday to help cut down on excess calories and feel better about your holiday meals.
Slim Down Sandwhiches
Sandwiches are generally a good choice health wise- you have a bit of dairy, your carbs, vegetables and protein. But what is lurking on the underside of the top piece of bread is what can really up the calories of your sandwich. One tablespoon of mayonnaise is about 100 calories! That is a tad excessive for a condiment. To slim down your sandwich, try replacing mayo with whipped cream cheese (about 30 calories for one tablespoon) or yellow mustard (only 3 calories for one tablespoon!). Both taste great on sandwiches and will help you drop over 60 calories from your sandwich.
Make Your Own Snack Packs
One of the worst decisions is to eat right out of the bag. Nothing sets you up for a disastrous amount of calories then grabbing a bag of your favorite snack and just munching away. We think we will stop ourselves from going overboard, but really who is paying attention to how many handfuls they grab? To stop yourself from this downfall, whenever you buy a snack, figure out about what a serving size should be and divvy the bag up into serving-size zip-locks. This way you will have pre-prepared snack bags that help you stay within a healthy amount.
Fruit is a great choice for an afternoon snack. Instead of munching on a vender machine bag of Cheetos, which weighs in at a whopping 320 calories, try to eat an apple or orange instead. Oranges range between 60-100 calories per fruit, apples are between 100-140. Plus they are filled with many great vitamins that can help your body become healthier.
Chose Your Morning Drink Wisely
Your choice of morning pick-me-up might be destroying your daily calorie count. A tall mocha from Starbucks is 200 calories- that is without the whipped cream! A grande coffee is only 5 calories. Sure a mocha every once and a while won’t hurt, but for a daily dose of caffeine a plain coffee is the better choice.
Pick a Healthier Side
This one can be hard for all you french fry lovers out there. When you order at a restaurant, most meals come with fries as a side unless it specifies otherwise. As tasty as they are, they are usually fried in oil, covered in salt and really high in calories. It might be hard to do at first, but ordering a healthier side like vegetables or fruit can really help you ward off excess fat, sodium and calories. You don’t have to totally cut fries out of your meal plan, but try to get in the habit of ordering a different side and saving fries as a treat.
Create Your Own Fast Food
Here is the familiar scenario: it’s late. You’re hungry. You don’t have much money. So you swing by the local BK or McDonald’s for a quick, cheap meal. What else is there to do? Well, try making your own fast food at home. Take a day where you have some extra time and cook a few nice meals that will freeze well. Place a meal in a plastic container, put it in the freezer and microwave it when you want a fast and easy dinner. This will help you have a reason to not stop at the fast food restaurant. Making your own freezer dinners also helps create a healthier dinner then buying a frozen meal from the store- they are filled with preservatives, chemicals and have high sodium.
It is so easy to eat everything that is on your plate, so stop yourself before you get the chance! Ask for a to-go box before your meal is brought out. This way you can stop yourself from eating double what you probably should be. Once you get your meal, split it in half and put half of it in the to-go box. Just think of it as a second meal, saving you money and calories.