Between downing pint after pint and scarfing down large portions of turkey and pumpkin pie, the holidays can make you attract those unwanted calories pretty fast. The daily recommended intake for the average adult is between 2000 and 2,500 calories while the daily recommended fat intake is less than 70 grams.1 2With the average holiday dinner containing about 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat, you’re literally consuming more than twice the daily number of calories and three times daily recommended fat intake each time you’re at the dinner table.3Come January, you’ll find yourself battling weight loss; definitely not a note you want to start the new year on.
Luckily, there are ways to watch your weight without isolating yourself from the festivities. For starters, try substituting your regular calorie-dense holiday drinks with these healthier options that will support your weight loss needs. The best part? They’re infused with ingredients that reek of that classic “holiday” essence – which easily makes them a class apart from those “boring and blah” health drinks that you feel duty-bound to drink.
1. Cinnamon-Apple Smoothie
If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with the holidays, it’s cinnamon. Fortunately, this is also a spice that helps prevent you from putting on weight.
Cinnamon helps your body produce and regulate insulin, the main hormone that’s responsible for stabilizing blood sugar and keeping our appetites steady.4 It also fights off insulin resistance and boosts your immunity which can have a huge positive impact on not just your weight, but also on your overall health.5
Apples, on the other hand, are full of fiber, that take a long time for your stomach to digest. This means they promote the slow release of insulin into the bloodstream and keep your stomach full for longer – two factors that are responsible for preventing hunger cravings and unhealthy snacking.6 Plus, the cholesterol-lowering phenolic compounds in apples also go a long way in fighting off weight gain.7
The almonds and bananas will give you a boost of much-needed vitamins and nutrients, while the Greek yogurt will give you a healthy shot of protein.
This recipe will take up no more than five minutes of your time, and will go a long way in keeping you full until lunch!
- Raw almonds: 5
- Red apple: 1
- Banana: 1
- Nonfat Greek yogurt: 3/4th cup
- Nonfat milk: 1/2 cup
- Cinnamon: 1/4th teaspoon
- Chop up the almonds, banana, and apple into pieces (the size will depend on how powerful your blender is).
- Dump all your ingredients into your blender.
- Blend on medium high for about 30 seconds until you achieve a smoothie-like consistency.
2. Healthy Peppermint Mocha
Holiday recipes are nothing without peppermint. And a little bit of mintiness is always helpful when you’re trying to watch your weight.
Mint is known to be a natural appetite suppressant thanks to its distinct strong scent. It also keeps your digestion process smooth and healthy to optimize nutrient intake and the calorie-burning process.8
Meanwhile, the caffeine contained in coffee can further help speed up your metabolism rate.9 This means an increase in the overall fat-burning process of your body, resulting in faster conversion into energy and fewer chances of unwanted flab.10
Sold? Here’s the recipe you need to follow.
- Coffee: 2 cups
- Dried, nonfat milk: 3 tablespoons
- Dark cocoa powder: 2 tablespoons
- Peppermint essence: 10 drops (or less, depending on how strong of a flavor you want)
- First, brew yourself 2 cups of coffee.
- Now add the coffee to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
- Blend on medium-high until you achieve a smooth consistency.
|↑1||What should my daily intake of calories be?National Health Services.|
|↑2||Reference intakes explained. National Health Services.|
|↑3||Stuff the Bird, Not Yourself: How to Deal with the 3,000 Calorie Thanksgiving Meal. Calorie Control Council.|
|↑4||Tapsell, Linda C., Ian Hemphill, Lynne Cobiac, David R. Sullivan, Michael Fenech, Craig S. Patch, Steven Roodenrys et al. “Supplement-Health benefits of herbs and spices: The past, the present, the future.” Medical Journal of Australia185, no. 4 (2006): S1.|
|↑5||Anderson, Richard A., C. Leigh Broadhurst, Marilyn M. Polansky, Walter F. Schmidt, Alam Khan, Vincent P. Flanagan, Norberta W. Schoene, and Donald J. Graves. “Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 52, no. 1 (2004): 65-70.|
|↑6||Hyson, Dianne A. “A comprehensive review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 2, no. 5 (2011): 408-420.|
|↑7||Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui Hai Liu. “Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits.” Nutrition journal 3, no. 1 (2004): 5.|
|↑8||Koithan, Mary, and Kathryn Niemeyer. “Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight.” The journal for nurse practitioners: JNP 6, no. 2 (2010): 153.|
|↑9||Acheson, Kevin J., Barbara Zahorska-Markiewicz, Philippe Pittet, Karthik Anantharaman, and Eric Jéquier. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33, no. 5 (1980): 989-997.|
|↑10||Hodgson, Adrian B., Rebecca K. Randell, and Asker E. Jeukendrup. “The metabolic and performance effects of caffeine compared to coffee during endurance exercise.” PLoS One 8, no. 4 (2013): e59561.|