Healthy holiday food swaps to avoid the post-party guilt

Every time our bodies recover from a holiday eating binge of sugary and fatty party foods, there’s another holiday just around the corner. Whether it’s cookies at Christmas or champagne on New Year’s Eve, there are ways to cut calories and choose more nutritious options without feeling like you’re missing out.

Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers some easy swaps that allow you to still enjoy holiday food with your friends and family, while reducing your post-holiday guilt.

Christmas

— Make your cookies using dates or applesauce in place of refined sugar.
— Bring a healthy side dish or appetizer to share so you know you’ll have at least one nutritious option to fill your plate. Try making a yogurt-based dip for a low-fat and protein-rich alternative to traditional dips.

New Year’s Eve

— Avoid fruity alcoholic drinks that are full of sugar. Instead, squeeze some fresh citrus juice into drinks mixed with seltzer water.
— Always drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated. Drinking water can also you keep you full and help you avoid overeating.

Weinandy says it’s okay to indulge in something you love, just savor it and say no to the things you can pass on. Also, loading your plate up with veggies first leaves less room for sugary and fatty foods, and filling up with protein and healthy fats will keep you fuller longer to help you make better choices as the night goes on.

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