Everyone splurges on edible treats during the holiday season, but there may be a surprising source of calories that you haven’t even considered. Sipping on a simple chai latte could result in a quick 230 calories, and one glass of traditional eggnog could pack more than 400 calories with the saturated fat of a Big Mac. These hefty sources of calories could be sneaky sources of weight gain when you are already eating a heavy Christmas dinner and the cookies that Santa left behind. Here are a few tips for reducing excess calories while you still enjoy the best flavors of the season.
Coffee shop modifications
When you do head to your local coffee shop for festive holiday drinks, you’ll be better off just by ordering a small, which is just 8-12 ounces instead of 16-20— which means you’ll consume about half the calories without having to make any other modifications. If you are willing to try something different, consider sugar-free syrups or opting for low-fat milk or dairy alternatives such as soymilk.
Lower calorie libations
Spiked eggnog is one of the most iconic beverages of the holidays, but it packs in tons of sugar and fat with a base of cream, sugar, and dark rum. If you are craving eggnog, you can enjoy a guiltless glass with this easy recipe:
Low-calorie almond eggnog
3 egg yolks, six egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ cups dark rum
Whole nutmeg for serving
To assemble, whisk egg yolks with sugar until they appear pale yellow, about two minutes. Add the vanilla, salt, almond milk, and rum and mix to incorporate. Cover the mixture and chill until ready to serve. When you are ready to enjoy, whip egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into eggnog base. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
This variation on traditional eggnog can save you more than 200 calories and offer a delightful nutty flavor from healthy almond milk. Another wholesome choice for holiday drinking is mulled wine, which starts with antioxidant-rich red wine.
Healthier hot cocoa
Hot chocolate lovers can rejoice in the health benefits of chocolate while cozying up to a hot cup of cocoa this season. Just remember to use dark chocolate when you whip up your cocoa so that you can get optimal nutrition from each cup. Using low-fat milk is the best option to reduce the calorie count while you sip on the richness of chocolate. A dash of peppermint extract will add some holiday flavor to the mix if you are feeling particularly festive.
What are your go-to strategies for fending off weight gain in the holiday season? Share your ideas and recipes with us in the comments below!