Trying to stay fit and trim over the holidays? The baker or the chef may have nearly as much control in one’s weight gain as the person consuming the food. Several factors determine the overall healthiness of a meal – including method of preparation, ingredients, and balance.
For a mouthwatering but healthful meal, consider some of the following baking tips and cooking tips to lose weight – or at least avoid gaining weight – during the holidays.
– Use butter, salt, oil, and cheese sparingly. For seasoning, instead try fresh herbs like garlic or other spices. Use lemon juice and choose margarine over butter.
– Whole grain breads and rolls are better for you than bleached whites, and the same goes for rice. Be adventurous and go for the wild rice – besides, it gives a meal great color!
– Avoid frying your foods if you can help it. Grilling, baking and broiling are much healthier for you. Try to avoid charring your meats too much – it really isn’t good for you if your food goes from juicy burger to hockey puck….
– Steam veggies and go easy on the butter and salt. It may take a little getting used to, but if you are feeding everyone from your mom and pop, 92-year-old grandfather to your three-year-old cousin, try to accommodate everyone with a delicious and healthy menu.
– Using powdered milk or evaporated skim milk instead of the real thing for your goodies may make all the difference. A drastic reduction in calories can only give your guests one more reason to smile.
– Substitute applesauce for the oil called for in a recipe. Try first substituting between 1/3 and 1/2 of the amount of oil required, and then alter to taste.
– Substitute cocoa powder for unsweetened chocolate, in the ratio of three tablespoons cocoa powder per one-ounce chocolate, plus one tablespoon melted shortening or cooking oil.
– Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg. The yolk is not as healthy as the whites are.
– Use an artificial sweetener in place of some or all of the sugar in a recipe. This also makes a nice treat for diabetics! Be aware that your goodies may not be as sweet as they normally are due to the sugar reduction.
– Add herbs and garlic to mashed potatoes in the place of butter.
– Do not feel obligated to include as much as the recipe suggests. If you think a full pound of chocolate chips is too much, go with your gut…or later you might be seeing it on your gut!
– Do not be afraid of products that boast “Low Fat!” or “Reduced Fat!” (cream cheese, sour cream, etc.) They may not taste the same outright, but when mixed with other ingredients, who will even notice?
Baking a healthier meal will get you on the right start to a slimmer, trimmer winter figure, but remember that it isn’t just what you eat. How you eat and how much you eat are also critical in the overall progress toward a healthier you.
With all the visiting you may be doing this holiday season, realize that you may also have to practice some discipline in your eating habits. Get on the right track and check out healthy eating tips for the holidays, too!