and a Happy Healthy New Year!

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The hardest time to stick to a diet is around the holidays. Everyone wants to sample the desserts and filling foods on the dinner table. This Christmas, choose healthier menu items for your Christmas dinner.

It is not uncommon for people to gain a few pound during Christmas. After a week of eating every scrumptious thing in sight, it’s a wonder anyone can move. This Christmas, you can help yourself and your family by slimming down traditional recipes.

Adapting Christmas recipes to healthier versions doesn’t mean that they have to taste bland. On the contrary, these dinner recipes can be full of flavor. It is fat we are trying to avoid.

Simple changes are the easiest and best to make. Some simple substitutions involve the most fattening ingredients. For example, use liquid oil and applesauce in place of liquid oil alone. Use margarine in place of butter and sugar substitutes instead of pure sugar. Many recipes have suggestions for healthy substitutions.

We eat too much and our portion sizes are out of control. Making simple substitutions lowers the fat content of our Christmas dinner dishes even if we eat a bit too much. For home made recipes, substitutions will go on feel and experience.


When making gravy for the turkey, begin with a can or jar of fat free turkey gravy. Add the turkey drippings from the baking pan to the fat free gravy. Season the food to taste. For thicker gravy, add some chicken broth and a few instant potato flakes to the drippings before adding it to the fat free gravy.

Mashed Potatoes:

Mashed potatoes are a favorite Christmas dinner side dish to complement turkey and gravy. When making the potatoes, substitute half of the potatoes with cauliflower. Mash both together well.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Low Calorie, Low Fat Recipe


6 med potatoes
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh chopped or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/3 to 1/2 cup low-fat milk


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash potatoes and poke holes in them to let steam escape. Wrap garlic in foil. Bake potatoes and garlic 1 hour or until potatoes are done.

Open garlic packet and allow to cool. Cut potatoes into halves, spoon potatoes into large bowl. (Save skins for another use or discard.) Remove skins from garlic and add garlic to the bowl. Heat oil and rosemary over med heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add oil mixture and salt to the bowl.
Mash until fluffy, adding milk until desired consistency.

Makes 6 servings ...1 serving = 140 calories, 5 grams fat

Soups and Salads:

Serve a soup and salad before putting the main courses on the table. A low fat vegetable soup like tomato and a simple green salad fills part of the stomach and everyone will eat less later on. Make available an assortment of low fat salad dressings for the salad.

Christmas Turkey:

Even the Christmas dinner turkey can slim down. Instead of preparing an entire twenty pound turkey, opt for a turkey breast instead. To maintain tenderness and moistness, marinade the thawed turkey breast before cooking. Remove any skin before serving.


One place we often fill up on empty calories is beverages. Instead of soda, serve punch sweetened with sugar substitute like Splenda®. Ice tea can also be sweetened with sugar substitute and lemons. Flavored waters are another option.

Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be fattening to be delicious. With a few healthy tweaks, many won’t notice the difference. This year, expand your repertoire of healthy Christmas dinner choices instead of expanding the waistline.

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The holidays are known to be a time when many people indulge in their favorite treats. Unfortunately, most of these treats tip the scales when it comes to calories and fat. If you would like to have a few healthy treats on hand at your next holiday party, try some of the following ideas:

A vegetable tray is great for snacking. Unfortunately, many people add a fattening dip on the side. Opt for something low-cal instead, such as salsa, flavored mustard, or make your own low-fat dip by using low-fat yogurt as the base, instead of sour cream.

Air popped popcorn is a great alternative to fattening chips, but it can be a bit… bland. Add some holiday spirit to your air popped popcorn by mixing in some dried cranberries.

A fruit and cheese plate can be tasty and healthy – if kept in moderation. The fat and calories in cheese can add up fast, so be cautious not to over indulge.

4. Nuts are another healthy snack when eaten in moderation. They contain healthy fats which are good for your brain. Just make sure to watch how much you eat to avoid too much fat or calories.

Angel food cake is a delicious treat and it is fat-free. Add some low-cal whip cream and fruit and you have a great alternative to a traditional holiday fruit cake.

6. If you enjoy baking, you can create your own healthier versions of your favorite treats by using applesauce instead of butter and whole wheat flour instead of white flour.

With a little planning ahead, you can enjoy some festive holiday snacks that won’t add on any extra pounds.

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Sounds rather strange, huh? While some so-called 'experts' advise you either to go on a crash diet or go hungry altogether, I am telling you to eat food. And on top that I am also saying that eating will help you lose weight. Before you think I am crazy, I am not! In this article I will elaborate on what types of foods you need to eat in order to lose weight fast.

1. Eat raw fruits: You need to eat raw fruits and vegetables in order to lose weight. Even if you cannot eat raw vegetables, you can surely eat raw fruits. Raw fruits can help you lose those extra pounds in a big way. Take apples for instance. One apple consists of 85 calories but your body needs to burn at least 95 calories in order to digest it; thereby, you are burning 10 extra calories simply by eating one apple. Consider how many calories you would be able to burn if say, you eat 350 apples? Well, you would burn around 3,500 calories, which equals to 1 pound of fat.

Apples are not the lone exception. Just about any fruit that is rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons, grapes, tomatoes, pineapples, etc. can help you burn a lot of calories when eaten in raw form.

2. Eat spicy foods: I know that some doctors advise you to avoid foods which are too spicy. While you should avoid oily and fatty foods, you should consume foods that are rich in pepper, hot mustard, etc., because these spices can help raise your metabolic rate, with the end result that you will burn more fat.

3. Eat fish: Yes, fish is also good for quick weight loss. Fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is a type of unsaturated fat. Now before you jump off your chair at the mention of the word 'fat', let me tell you that unsaturated fats are good for your health; it is the saturated fats that you should avoid.

These fish lower the levels of a hormone called leptin in your body. When that happens your metabolic rate shoots up and you burn fat a lot faster. Add to that the fact that these fish are rich in protein, which means that you won't feel hungry too often.

4. Eat dairy products: Probably someone has told you to avoid milk because it is rich in fat. Well, while milk is rich in fat, it is also rich in calcium, which will help you lose weight by breaking down the fat deposits present in your body. Besides milk, you should also add yogurt to your diet. Recent research has pointed out that people who eat a calcium-rich diet are able to lose weight faster than others!

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