Healthier Winter Cooking and Celebrating
We all want warm, comforting foods in the winter, especially around the holidays. As you cook and celebrate this season, think of ways to reduce fat and unnecessary calories – without compromising on taste!
Simple cooking substitutions
- When a recipe calls for heavy (whipping) cream, try substituting half-and-half or whole milk. This eliminates many unnecessary calories without losing the rich, creamy taste and texture.
- Many comfort foods include layers of melted cheese, which can be a calorie bomb. Try using part-skim cheeses, such as mozzarella or ricotta. They still melt well without a noticeable difference in taste.
- One of the easiest ways to reduce calories from fat is to choose grilled dishes over fried. You might decide that the fried coating or breading is not worth the extra calories!
- Don’t forget that spices can add tons of flavor without adding fat. Look for recipes that use spices to add a little heat to your winter-warming recipes, such as cinnamon, cloves, cumin, or chili powder.
- Choose soups that are broth-based instead of cream-based. Chicken noodle soup is a winter favorite with much less fat than a soup like cream of broccoli. With any soups or broth, be careful of high sodium content. Always taste your soup before automatically adding salt.
- For every alcoholic beverage you drink, have one glass of water. This will slow down your intake of calories and keep you hydrated.
- Plan ahead for calories. If you know you’ll be attending a party with food later in the day, make smarter, health-conscious choices beforehand. Do not starve yourself before the party, or you will be more likely to binge later and consume more calories than you might have with small portions throughout the day.
- Don’t stand by the food. When food is within arm’s reach, you are more likely to keep eating without realizing you are full! Make your plate, then move to another room. Let socializing, not eating, be the main party event.
Use a tried and true calorie tracking system to know how many calories you have left in your daily allotment. Check out MyFitnessPal.com or WeightWatchers.com—or their mobile apps—for two different, yet effective methods of tracking food intake.