Halloween’s barely over and the holiday carols are already blasting in the retail stores. You can’t run through the dial on your car radio without hitting at least one Christmas music station, and your kids have already written out their wish lists for the Big Guy. Nonetheless, you may be looking forward to the warmth of the season thanks to many parties and get-togethers that punctuate this time of year. However, if you’ve been trying to watch your weight, these parties can seem like the devil’s work! No worries. We’ve got some tips on how to eat healthy during the holiday season, with all natural protein recipes and food replacement options that may offer a healthier alternative to the normal holiday mainstays.
All-Natural Protein Bars
Easily the most versatile way to take the place of the meal is a healthy protein bar chock full of the all the good stuff minus all the bad stuff. You don’t want to skimp on the protein when going for a quick snack, so choose one that packs a punch with peanut butter, other nuts, complex carbohydrates and just a touch of fat. Steer clear of any protein bars that are nothing more than glorified candy bars, says WebMD. Instead, reach for those that contain nuts, dried fruits and honey for a touch of sweetness. Aim for about 220 calories per serving, no more than five grams of fat, up to five grams of fiber, up to 15 grams of protein, and lots of vitamins and minerals. Use meal replacement bars just once per day and balance out your nutrition with at least two healthy meals. Clean protein bars offer an extra healthful kick, boasting non-GMO ingredients, less than 200 mg of salt per serving with no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, says Prevention.
Five-Ingredient Granola Bar
Make these ahead of time and grab one before hitting a holiday party where you know you’ll gobble up everything in sight once you arrive. Stave off hunger for a little bit, so you don’t feel so desperate right off. This will help you make smarter food choices throughout the party. The Minimalist Baker recommends five-ingredient granola bars because they keep you full for hours without a heavy dose of sugar. All you need are: dates, honey, peanut butter or almond butter (for those with allergies), sliced almonds, and rolled oats. You can add other ingredients like chocolate chips for an extra sweetness, but it’s not necessary. Warm the honey and peanut butter over low heat, then pour over the oat, date and honey mixture. Press down and let harden in the fridge for a half hour before cutting into bars. Voila! The perfect on the go snack.
Tips to Eating Healthy at Holiday Parties
The yummy food at those parties can certainly be tempting, but you can resist. Avoid alcohol, as it contains a lot of sugar. Stick with water and lemon, or limit yourself to one drink. If you must indulge, go with a low-calorie wine spritzer. Grab a small plate and fill up only once. No seconds allowed! Once the plate is full, you’re done. Give it a few minutes to settle, and you’ll find you really are satisfied after that small helping. For appetizers, walk away from the chips and dips and go for colorful veggie platters instead. Don’t deprive yourself of dessert. Just try one bite from a few different indulgences so you can feel like you’re a part of the holiday festivities, but you’ll still respect yourself in the morning!
Making sure you keep eating clean over the holidays may seem like a lot of hard work. Make it easier with the all-natural supplements, on-the-go snacks and more from About Time. From quick and easy on-the-go protein shakes and all-natural whey protein granola clusters, to an abundance of healthy recipes using our clean line of supplements, let About Time keep your holiday season happy and healthy.