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5 Guilt-Free Treats for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is filled with festivities where food is the focus. Though many people overindulge during this time of year, most Americans only gain about a pound, according to the health experts at Stanford University

One extra pound may not seem like a big deal, but it may become a big deal if you let those pounds accumulate year after year, increasing your risk of more serious health issues like obesity and diabetes

Here at Weston Medical Health & Wellness, we specialize in weight loss and understand some of the concerns you have about what you can and can’t eat during the holiday season. Our weight-loss expert, Dr. Andrea Bretal, wants to share some guilt-free treats you can enjoy this holiday season.

1. Baked apples

Pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie are favorite desserts during the festive season. It’s OK to eat a slice of your favorite pie during the holidays, but if you’re searching for guilt-free options, consider baked fruit. 

The fall and winter is the season for apples, and you have many varieties to choose from. After washing and removing the core, place your apples — leaving the skin on — in a baking dish and fill the core with rolled oats, walnuts or pecans, a touch of brown sugar, and your favorite sweet spice, like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger. 

Add about an inch of water and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes. It will smell and taste like apple pie, but without the guilt. 

2. Whole-grain rice cereal treats

Rice cereal treats are easy and fun to make. To up the nutritional quality of these treats, swap out your usual rice cereal with a whole-grain rice cereal and add dark chocolate chips or unsweetened dried cranberries to boost flavor and nutrition. 

To make it fun for your kids, use holiday-shaped cookie cutters and let them decorate the whole-grain treats with colorful powdered sugar frostings. 

3. Meringue cookies

If you’re looking for a low-calorie cookie to satisfy your sweet tooth, you may want to add meringue cookies to your guilt-free holiday treat list. According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, 1 ounce of meringue cookies (12-14 cookies) has about 80 calories. 

Why are these cookies so low in calories? Egg whites are the main ingredient. 

4. Roasted veggies

If you prefer savory treats over sweet ones during holiday festivities, then you may be searching for a guilt-free side dish to add to your holiday meal. Roasted veggies make a healthy and festive addition to any table.

Include a variety of the colorful fall vegetables such as:

Cut your veggies into uniform-sized pieces and lay them out evenly on a nonstick baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper — or any other of your favorite holiday seasonings — and roast in a preheated 400°F for 10-20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

5. Whole-grain stuffing

It may be tough to replace your mom’s famous holiday stuffing made with white bread, tons of butter, and high-sodium chicken broth, but for a guilt-free treat consider adding a whole-grain stuffing to the mix.

Instead of white bread use wild rice, quinoa, or brown rice, and add mushrooms, onions, celery, pecans, and unsweetened dried cranberries. To reduce salt content, use low-sodium or sodium-free broth. 

It’s OK to enjoy some of your favorite holiday treats, but adding a few guilt-free options into the mix may help you enjoy the holiday feasts without the guilt or the weight gain. 

Though the holiday season is a tough time to start a weight-loss diet, it’s as good a time as any. We offer many effective tools that can help you lose weight, even during the holidays, including prescription weight-loss medications like phentermine and our specially formulated lipotropic shots

We know schedules are tight during the holidays, which is why we offer a digital weight-loss program that can fit anyone’s lifestyle or schedule. Contact our office in Weston, Florida, by calling or clicking the online booking tool to get started.

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