Fitness & Health

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Don’t be a pound cake! 

Emily Manns | Fulcrum Staff

WHEN THE SNOW starts to fall and the ice starts to form, we all know the succulent feasts we’ve been waiting to dig our forks into are just around the corner. With all of that delicious food coming together on one table, it can be difficult to pace ourselves, and it doesn’t take long before one serving of turkey stuffing smothered in gravy becomes several more—plus dessert. Through my many years of attending and hosting holiday parties, I have picked up a few tips that will help you and your guests enjoy all that delicious food, without the post-holiday pounds.

Sugar and spice and everything nice

This tip is for those of you who plan on spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing holiday meals—bless your soul. Adding lots of salt and sugar might make the food taste great, but it’s also a quick way to pack on the calories. Cranberry sauce, for instance, is terrible when it comes to high sugar content, because it takes a lot of sweetener to offset the natural bitterness of the berries. When you choose to make it yourself instead of buying the canned stuff, you have more control over the sugar content, with the freedom to reduce the amount of sugar or use alternative sweeteners like fruit juice, honey, or Splenda. With your salty meats and potatoes, try to add less salt during the cooking process, and leave it to the guests to add their own to taste.

Merry Chickmas

Next is a little tip for all the bakers. There are some great recipes out there that will satisfy the taste buds while going easy on your metabolism. Try making flourless chickpea cake—it calls for ground-up chickpeas instead of flour, and it’s moist, sweet, and great if you’ve gone gluten-free. Chickpeas are a source of fibre and protein and are low in fat, and the water they retain during soaking and boiling is what makes the cake so moist. It’s a very simple cake, but you could always jazz it up a bit by making multiple layers and then decorating them with a delicious cream-cheese icing or icing of your choice.

Too much of a good thing

Finally, when it comes time to eat all of this delicious food, try using a smaller plate—the less you can pile on it, the less you will end up eating. Plus, your portions will seem bigger in a smaller dish, so it’s a win-win. Also, you’re best to only eat until you feel full. Most people tend to continue eating even after they’re full, and that’s usually when the pounds start to pile on. If you’re at a buffet or potluck, take small portions of various things rather than lots of a few things (or lots of everything). The plate fills up fast when there’s so much to choose from, so a little bit of each is all you need.

Whether you are working away in the kitchen or preparing yourself for the many holiday delights someone else is baking this December, remember these helpful tips. You might just be able to avoid having to make that New Year’s resolution to hit the gym every day.