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Healthy Holiday Eating: How to Indulge Without the Bulge

Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Healthy holiday eating. Is there such a thing? It almost sounds naughty in itself. We all look forward to eating our favorite holiday foods, so the last thing you want to think about is counting calories. So, how do you indulge without the bulge?

This month, Granite and TREND Transformations has some helpful tips for you to stay on a healthy track during the holidays while enjoying your seasonal favorites. Whether you’re hosting the big event or are a welcomed guest, we have you covered.

Let’s talk turkey

turkey and cranberries

There’s nothing like the succulent aroma of a roasting turkey to whet your appetite for a fabulous holiday meal. With the turkey taking center stage, the good news is it’s lower in calories than you may have thought and packed with protein! The only decision you’ll have to make is choosing white or dark meat. Here are the facts:

Whole roasted turkey—A 4 ounce serving has 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs and a whopping 21 grams of protein.

Note: For an even healthier option, roasting a whole turkey breast will save you even more calories and fat.

Oh, wait., “Can you pass the gravy?” If you’re trying to save some calories for the dessert buffet, go easy on the gravy and try to limit it to about a 1/4 cup per serving of turkey.

All about the sides

thanksgiving dinner side dishes

Not to insult the turkey, but we all know that when it comes to indulging in our culinary cravings, it’s all about the sides. (And we haven’t even hit the dessert buffet yet!) From your favorite stuffing recipe (or dressing, depending what part of the country you’re from) to traditional favorites like green bean casserole and candied yams, there are hidden calories that can sabotage your waistline. The good news is that if you’re hosting the holiday, you’re in control of the menu. Offer your guests healthier versions of a few side dishes for those who have dietary restrictions. And, if you happen to be the guest, ask the host if you can bring a “lighter” version of a traditional side dish or dessert, so that you can enjoy your favorites without the guilt.  Check out these delicious recipes for some healthy side dish inspo!

Did someone say dessert?


Yes, you can have your cake (or pie) and eat it, too. With some mindful planning and simple trade-offs, you can kick the temptation and enjoy your holiday while making healthy choices. Did you know that a slice of pumpkin pie has less sugar and calories—even with a dollop of whipped cream—than a slice of pecan pie? Just a little food for thought.

Hacks for healthy holiday eating

The holidays are a fun and festive time of year, and typically a time when we are tempted to let our guards down. Here are some ways to help you make the most of your holidays while also staying healthy:

  • Be sure to eat breakfast and even lunch before the big feast or holiday party. Skipping meals to “save up” for the food fest will only tempt you to overeat.
  • Go for a short walk or get in some exercise to keep your metabolism going.
  • Survey your food options when you arrive so that you can “holiday-proof” your plan to skip certain foods in order that you may enjoy your favorites.
  • Snack on healthier low-calorie party foods, such as raw vegetables, grapes, salsa, and shrimp, which will allow you to try some of the other decadent appetizers.
  • For buffet-style dining, use a smaller plate to help control serving size, and be sure to distance yourself afterwards so you’re not tempted to go back for seconds.
  • Holiday cheer in the form of eggnog or other alcoholic options may be part of the celebration. If you decide to partake, keep in mind they are typically packed with sugar and calories. Treat them like a dessert to keep your planning in perspective.
  • When you think you’ve had enough, try having a mint or a piece of gum. This hack will not only stop you from overindulging, but mint has been known to act as a mild appetite suppressant.

Wellness counts

woman drinking coffee

There’s no doubt the holidays are a busy time of year. With so much to do, we often slack on our exercise routines—not to mention missing out on time for our mental well-being. It is therefore important to incorporate some type of activity for a healthy mind-body balance. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Park further away when shopping or running errands.
  • Break down your exercise routine into smaller sessions throughout the day. For example, take 10-minute walks, do a short dance session, or a quick set of squats several times a day.
  • Don’t forget to schedule some “me” time. Whether it’s taking a hot bath, doing yoga, reading your favorite magazine, or talking with a friend, doing something for yourself is the best way to re-energize your mind, body, and spirit.

We hope you found our blog fun and informative. For more Thanksgiving inspiration, read another of our holiday selections, “Thanksgiving Table Settings to Suit Your Personal Style.”

Does your kitchen or bathroom need a refresh? Contact us today for your free in-home consultation and see how our beautiful line of etherium® By E-Stone surfaces, stunning mosaic tiles, and classic cabinetry can add beauty and sophistication to your home.

Wishing you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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