You made it! The holidays are over, and life can finally start getting back to normal.
But there’s one part of the season still hanging around. And like some kind of ghost of Christmas past, it’s threatening to haunt you until summer.
I’m talking, of course, about that holiday weight gain. Because the Christmas cookies and New Year’s champagne may be long gone. But your pot belly isn’t.
Lucky for you there’s an easy and effective way to lose the weight fast. And when you do it right, it doesn’t even feel like a diet. In fact, it can feel decadent.
I’m talking about making the switch to a lower-carb lifestyle.
Maybe you’ve already made some of the swaps I’ve suggested in the past such as ditching the angel hair pasta for spaghetti squash and choosing “riced” cauliflower instead of white rice.
Lose the holiday weight with lower-carb food swaps
Well, now that you’ve got some of the basics down, it’s time to take your healthy low-carb eating to the next delicious, level.
Following are six of my favorite lower-carb food swaps that will help you lose the holiday weight. And I guarantee the whole family will love them too.
1. A nut for a nut:
Nuts can be relatively high in carbohydrates. But they’re packed with protein and other vital nutrients. And their many health benefits make a reasonable serving of them very worthwhile.
But when you’re trying to accelerate your holiday weight loss make the smarter choice by reaching for the walnuts instead of the cashews. Not only are walnuts lower in carbs, but they’re also highest in omega-3s.
This lower carb food swap will save you around seven grams of carbs per serving.
2. Goodbye granola:
Granola has been fooling folks into thinking it’s healthy since the 1970s. But the amount of sugar that is dumped into granola completely wipes out any health benefits it may have brought to the table. Instead of choosing granola made WITH oatmeal, just pick the oatmeal instead.
Made with milk and sweetened with a few berries steel cut oatmeal is every bit as delicious as granola. If you have a die-hard sweet tooth, you can add a sprinkle of stevia or monk-fruit sweetener to the mix and STILL lose the holiday weight.
Typically, you’ll cut your carbs by more than half with this simple swap.
3. A better burger:
Who doesn’t love a good burger? But let’s be honest, eating a burger with a knife and fork just isn’t the same as grabbing it in your hands and biting in.
The solution? Grill or broil two Portabella mushroom caps alongside your patties and stack the burger and all the topping between them instead. The mushrooms are perfectly sized to replace the bun. And their texture makes them a palate-pleasing swap.
Instead of clocking in at a staggering 20 or more grams your Portabella burger bun will only run you about six measly carbs, making it easy to lose the holiday weight.
4. Nix the noodle:
You don’t have to swear off the cheesy goodness that is lasagna just because you’ve committed to lowering the carbs in your diet. Replace the lasagna noodles with long strips of zucchini or eggplant (or both) and get all the same ooey-gooey satisfaction of lasagna with a LOT fewer carbs.
For best results, slice the veggies lengthwise into strips instead of into rounds, then prepare and bake as usual.
5. CauliMac and cheese:
Can’t imagine giving up your mac and cheese forever? Me either. And thanks to this lower carb swap, neither of us has to. You can eat your mac AND lose the holiday weight.
The key to this dish is to cut the cauliflower into small enough pieces that you aren’t just eating chunky cauliflower gratin which is delicious too but doesn’t mimic mac and cheese as well. Chop your cauliflower into small florets then blanch (briefly boil and then dunk into cold water) to remove any bitterness. Add your favorite cheeses and bake.
Your carb count will plummet from around 29 grams down to about 18.
6. Swap the shells:
You’re going to put lettuce on your tacos anyway. So why not use a bit more by tossing the shells and using lettuce leaves instead?
Pick large leaf lettuce like iceberg or butter, and you’ll even be able to stuff as many fillings into your new lower-carb “shell” as before. And your carb count will drop from around 19 grams in a single shell to less than one.
So don’t skip Taco Tuesday. Just swap out the shells.
The days when going low carb meant you were dooming yourself to a lifetime of boring eating are long gone. With these smart swaps like these you can eat what you love and still lose the holiday weight.