Image by: Samantha Bilodeau
By: George Lamb
So you’re worried you might lose your 6-pack while amid the minefield that is Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, while those are indeed difficult obstacles to overcome without accumulating a few pounds, there are ways you can fight your way through without binging on all the finest holiday goods. Its called discipline (and a little moderation)!
Yea I know it will be tough resisting the endless candy corn, all the dark, sugary meat you can eat, and gallons of eggnog. But if you take a few calorie precautions and alternatives then you may even find your self slimmer and trimmer once winter takes shelter in its annual coffin. So rest assured! As long as you follow these guidelines on what to eat and what to avoid this holiday season, you should be ready to hit spring break with shirtless fervor.
#1) Surviving Halloween
While you may find it tempting to steal your young kids or siblings enormous sack of edible delights this Halloween, you may want to think twice before indulging yourself in his or her bag of goodies. Especially the candy bars and no-name chocolate candies that are shaped like ghouls and ghosts. Didn’t think those little bites were too bad, huh? Well, while they are delicious, a lot of these types of candies contain what is called Hydrogenated fat, which is one of the worst things you can possibly ingest.
These Hydrogenated oils are said to boost your chances of developing heart disease. Doesn’t sound to pleasant does it? Lay your finger off that Butterfinger unless you want to increase your chances of heart disease. You don’t have to completely avoid chocolate bars all together, but before purchasing one or stealing one from your kids candy bag, check the ingredients and keep a eye out for the ones that list hydrogenated oil as the major ingredient.
Sticky candies like Laffy Taffy’s caramel apples and salt water taffy’s are also something to be cautious of when foraging through that bag of treats. These candies may not contain as much hydrogenated oil as a Butterfinger, but unless you want to make a surprise trip to your dentist, I’d suggest you moderate. Quick dissolving candies like pop rocks and lollipops are also guilty of threatening to harm your teeth and damage any dental work you may have had done.
No candy!? No Taffy apples!? I’m diving into a bag of potato chips then!
Not so fast, sir. I’m not here to burst your bubble, but those deep-fried treats are packed with fat and sodium, which the predominant reason why they are so delicious. While I won’t stop you from grabbing that bag of lays entirely, I will let you know that you might want to stick to one serving of the plain or regular flavor chips, as they contain much less sodium then say hot and spicy or BBQ.
#2) Surviving Thanksgiving
So you starved yourself through Halloween and now you’re ready to make up for it at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Great! After all your resisting you deserve to pig out, but just so all your efforts won’t go to waste you may want to consider a few healthier alternatives–like white meat turkey over dark meat. Whats the difference you ask? Well, while dark meat turkey may have a bolder taste, white meat will save you about 50 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. And if you’re wondering what the healthiest topping is between gravy and cranberry sauce, you might be surprised to find that, because of all the added sugars, gravy is actually the healthier option! Now that we’ve got the main course out the way, lets move on to dessert.
You may still be partially upset about the fact that you weren’t able to indulge much to you’re taste-buds’ delight on Halloween, but that doesn’t mean pumpkin season is over. You’ve still got pumpkin pie to look forward to! Being the healthier option over apple pie by about 100 calories per serving and 5 grams of fat, pumpkin pie also serves as an ideal option for the health conscious because whipped topping has much fewer calories than its ice-cream counterpart that is served over apple pie. Yea, I can’t wait until turkey day, either…
#3) Surviving Xmas
‘Tis the season to be surrounded by Candy Canes, Eggnog and Xmas ham! Yea, you’ll probably be surrounded by it, but if you want to maintain your streak of surviving through both Halloween and Xmas, then you may want to turn a blind eye toward these delicious food items. You may think of a candy cane as nothing but a giant, harmless mint, but it can be very dangerous. Dangerous not only because of its ability to be sharpened into a sharp, dangerous weapon, but also hazardous to your teeth–as they can cause plaque and bad gums if eaten in excess.
Okay, you can deal without the Candy Canes, but how are you going to deal with no Xmas ham!? Before I continue let me thoroughly explain that when it comes to Christmas ham, it’s not the ham part that’s harmful, but the Christmas part (if that makes any since to you). Being drowned and marinated in too much sugar and salt syrup makes this option a very dicey one for you to consider this Xmas.
Don’t be discouraged, though, because you can still substitute the main course for either a regular “non Xmas” ham or a turkey. It might kill your holiday buzz a little, but hey, if you want to win this year’s holiday food war, you may want to consider it.
The holidays are coming and you know what that means right? Food! Food! And more food! How will you stay healthy this Holiday season? Please share with us below!