Have you ever gone back to the gym after the holidays, weighed yourself, and felt a little shocked? This holiday season, Prevail is showing up to keep you accountable and on track to meet your fitness and nutrition goals in spite of holiday revelry. With the best personal nutritionist Seattle has to offer, you won’t be needing to buy bigger pants come 2022. As part of your customized nutrition plan, we’ll help you determine what kind of substitutes and food swaps you can make as healthier alternatives to the usual holiday fare. Here are a few healthy food swap suggestions to get you started when you’re planning out your holiday meals. 

1. Swap out butter as part of your customized nutrition plan.

To be clear, butter isn’t inherently bad, but it’s not great for long-term health if it’s not enjoyed in moderation. As an alternative to butter, consider substituting olive oil. Although butter and olive oil are similar when it comes to caloric values, they have some key differences that make olive oil the healthier option. 

Olive oil has less saturated fat than butter and doesn’t contain dietary cholesterol. If you’re looking to control your cholesterol levels, this swap is a smart one. As part of your customized nutrition plan, this swap may take a little bit of getting used to, because olive oil obviously tastes a little bit different than butter, but ultimately, once your taste buds adjust, your body will be grateful. 

Glass bottle full of olive oil with whole black and green olives newt to the bottle.

2. Roll with a new kind of casserole.

Casseroles are a staple during the holidays. Attending a holiday church gathering? Bring a casserole. Holiday work party? Bring a casserole. Annual in-law gathering? You guessed it! Bring a casserole. If your infamous casserole uses a lot of sour cream, you may be worrying that you need to find a whole new recipe to make it Prevail nutrition friendly. Thankfully, you may only need to swap out one component. 

Our team here at Prevail suggests bringing along at least one dish to holiday gatherings that is friendly to your customized nutrition plan. This way, you can rest assured that you will have at least one dish to enjoy that meets your needs. 

Instead of sour cream, which is high in fat—and not necessarily the healthy kind of fat—consider swapping it for nonfat Greek yogurt. This is a great substitute if you’re hoping to get a little more protein in your diet, because nonfat Greek yogurt has higher protein content than sour cream. Also, the texture and taste are really similar, so you and your casserole loving friends won’t even be missing out. 

3. Get your pie fix without the guilt.

During the holidays, there’s pie around every corner. Although delicious, pie has a lot of pitfalls. Pie crusts have almost zero nutritional value and are loaded with butter and added sugar. In order to cut back on calories and sugar, consider using a tried and true personal nutritionist Seattle tip by making crustless no-bake pumpkin bars instead of pumpkin pie. You’ll still get your pumpkin fix without straying from your customized nutrition plan. Some recipes have only three ingredients, are low carb and even Keto! It checks a lot of boxes depending on your customized nutrition plan and will still satisfy your sweet tooth. 

4. Opt for a healthier potato option.

Mashed potatoes are a traditional holiday food. They taste great and pair seamlessly with a lot of meals. If you feel like opting for a healthier option, consider using sweet potatoes instead. They have slightly less calories than white potatoes and have more fiber, calcium and vitamins than a traditional potato. Go the extra mile by using coconut or oat milk instead of cream and butter to make your mashed sweet potatoes even healthier. 

Sweet potato mashed potatoes in a whit glass bowl with pumpkin seeds sprinkled across the top.

Ultimately, you can work with your personal nutritionist to determine what the best substitutions are for your personal goals. If there’s a day during the holidays where you’re not feeling like making any substitutions or you’re not cooking and want to enjoy what’s been prepared for you, this is a great time to practice portion control. Portion control allows you to still indulge without feeling guilty later. Moderation is the best policy when it comes to healthy holiday eating. If you practice these tips now, they’ll be easier to incorporate into your routine come 2022.

If you feel like you need guidance, consider contacting Prevail. Our nutrition coaches can help create a customized meal plan to help you meet your goals.