Alarmingly, studies have shown that the average American gains weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Not only that, but many are never losing this additional weight so, each year the weight gain is compounded and harder to correct. We offer some healthy holiday entertaining tips that will ensure your shindig is both merry…and lite!
Many people may not realize but certain colors and smells tune our brains in to crave food or become satisfied quicker! Often time restaurants will use red décor because the color promotes a healthy appetite and will actually encourages people to eat more! People gravitate toward colors that commonly occur in nature, like green, red, yellow and orange. Of course, the most common holiday décor colors are red and green but, try mixing in some blue, as that is the color that is MOST likely to suppress appetite! In addition to your décor, candles and fragrance can play a huge part in how much a person chooses to eat. The scents of coffee, peppermint, lemon zest or orange ginger can help to suppress the appetite of your guests. Light candles of these scents all over your home. Consider placing candles in your fireplace and lighting for an added ambiance benefit! This may not seem important, but as a host you can maximize your food budget and will help watch the waistline of your loved ones!
Consider apple cider over calorie-laden eggnog. Keep it simple and you’ll save money, there’s no need to have too many options. Also, always offer a pitcher of water for those who choose to not drink. Dressing up water with cranberries and fresh citrus slices is fun, festive and encourages guests to drink more water.
One of the best ways to encourage healthy eating during your holiday party it to make sure that no one misses the “real thing!” You can easily do that by making healthy cooking substitutions and fan-favorite recipes where no one will miss the added fat and calories. Use applesauce in place of oil, butter and sugar. If your recipe calls for mayo or sour cream, use nonfat Greek yogurt. Try mashed bananas in place of sugar or butter, nuts in place of croutons and rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs. There are an endless number of substitutions you can make to ensure a dish is healthy. If you never mention it, trust us…no one will ever know the difference! Try healthy bacon mac and cheese, crock pot Italian turkey meatballs, chicken pot pie and cottage cheese chocolate truffle cheesecake.
Study after study illustrate that people will eat and drink less if they use smaller plates and glassware. Do your guests a favor and choose either disposable or reusable appetizer or salad plates at the buffet versus dinner plates. Our stomachs are largely governed by our eyes…if you offer smaller plates and glasses, your guests’ brains will trick them into feeling full and more satisfied faster than if they were using larger plates. Another great trend is to make sure your plates, glasses and napkins are not only on the small side, but are mismatched. This creates a sense of calm and relaxation so that things don’t get too stuffy or formal at your bash!
If you invite your guests and include children in the invite list, everyone is sure to remain active and on their toes throughout your soiree. As nice as it is to include the little ones, it’s also a calorie burner because your guests will be running after tykes and may not have a chance to indulge uninterrupted. Children bring certain energy to the party that will ensure that all are kept light and active. Plus, it’s hard to have your turn holding a little bundle of joy while juggling a toppling plate of food!