Skip the dinner rolls: "Bread creates an immediate blood sugar spike, which leads to hunger and overeating," explains Harper. Instead, she advises starting each meal with a protein to stabilize blood sugar. Lucky for us, turkey packs 32 grams of protein in a four-ounce serving.
Amp up the veggies:Vegetables do not have to be covered with cheese, cream, or fried onions to be delicious. This holiday, instead of a green bean casserole, prepare your beans with lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty and healthy side dish. "Green beans are rich in minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, but low in carbohydrates."
Eliminate excess carbohydrates:Mashed potatoes are found on most holiday plates and are often prepared with butter, cream, and milk. As a substitute, try mashing cauliflower instead. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and replacing the potatoes with this option keeps blood sugar stable, says Harper.
Cut out the alcohol:Holiday cocktails are tasty, but chock full of unhealthy, sugary ingredients. They provide a hidden source of excess calories that most people don't consider during their holiday celebrations. "Opt for club soda mixed with a splash of pomegranate juice-it feels festive but won't extend your waistline," suggests Harper.
Make smart dessert swaps:Wheat is filling and often causes bloating. When preparing your holiday meal, try replacing the wheat crust with a nut crust. Then fill the crust with fresh apples sweetened with xylitol, a natural sweetener that does not raise blood sugar levels or lead to weight gain, suggests Harper. Adding cinnamon will further stabilize blood sugar and allow the body to process the fruit more efficiently. For an added omega-3 health punch, add some walnuts."
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