Hey Angels and Alphas,
If you think you can’t stay on track with your macros and eat healthy during the holidays, you’ve got another thing coming. The entire premise behind counting macros is the added flexibility, right? You want to be able to enjoy all these festive goodies and still feel good about your daily macros count.
There’s some great news – this time of year, there are typically more than enough options flooding the dinner tables. Many of them include high-quality proteins, loads of veggies and fruits, and other good-for-you meals.
Some strategies might involve “staying up” on your carbs the days around holiday feast days, but you can also make smart swaps that will fill your plate and won’t send you too far out of your daily macros goal.
#1 SNACK SMARTER BEFORE BIG MEALS
Skip the typical bread sticks and chip-and-dip bowls, they are two easy places you can offset those macro numbers quickly before your main meal is actually served.
Instead, you can snack on olives, ranch, deviled eggs, salad, or even a piece or two of cheese. They’re all good options you can nibble on before the start of the big meal.
#2 CHOOSE GREENER VEGGIES
You can try bacon-wrapped green bean bundles in place of your usual green bean casserole – a traditional green bean casserole is a lot more about the cream and cheese-loaded base (as well as the crunchy fried onion topping) than it is about actual beans.
Green bean bundles are, on the other hand, all about veggies – simply tied together in flavor-packed pieces of bacon.
#3 MAKE SWEET POTATOES SIMPLE THIS YEAR
Your typical marshmallow or brown-sugar topping on the classic scoop of sweet potato casserole has as much sugar as a piece of apple pie from the dessert table.
And there’s an additional cup of sugar hiding in the mash, too! Instead, try roasting a variety of your winter squashes (butternut, acorn, kabocha, etc.) along with some sweet potatoes on a giant sheet pan. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle in a spoonful of brown sugar, add a dash of salt and you’re golden. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and need a lot less prep work when it comes to the holiday spread.
#4 FOCUS ON THE “STUFF” INSIDE YOUR STUFFING
Many interesting stuffing recipes are chock full of veggies and fruits such as apples or dried cherries. You should choose recipes that have lots of greens, mushrooms, and other veggies, and put double the amount usually shown in the recipe.
Think about your ratio of veggies and greens to other types of food, and always try to add more greens and veggies you can fill up on whenever possible.
#5 GO HEAVY ON RAW VEGGIES
You can find some of the best, brightest, and healthiest meal options during the holidays that don’t involve a stovetop or oven. Raw kale salads are hearty, colorful, and bright with extra pomegranate seeds, shredded cabbage, and sprinkled walnuts.
Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals, super low in carbohydrates, and it’s a great food of choice for stocking up on. You can use it as a holiday ingredient in a lot of meals, and the best part is, you don’t have to do any extra cooking to add healthy nutrients to your meal.
#6 LEAVE ROOM FOR THE SWEET ENDING
We all know that most desserts are just sugar and refined carbohydrates, but that’s not a reason to skip on them entirely.
And after all, it’s the holiday season. Most desserts satisfy just a few spoonfuls – make sure to eat slowly and savor each bite before diving in for more. It’s also important to remember that a lot of “savory” dishes that are usually found on the holiday buffet have just as much sugar as a piece of pumpkin pie.
Cranberry sauce, sweet potato casseroles, corn casseroles, even that glass of sangria are all very much like dessert. Skip on the overly sweet side dishes and save that room for real dessert.