Mann in Kochschürze überlegt, welches kalorienarmes Weihnachtsgericht er kochen kann

Holidays without regrets and extra pounds! How does that sound to you? Fantastic, but can it be done without deprivation? We understand your doubt and want to show you that low-calorie Christmas dishes can be just as delicious and share some tips on how to succeed with light recipes.

Indulgence vs. Low-calorie: How to have both this year

Who hasn’t experienced it: Christmas markets, cookie plates, and then a festive family dinner with roast goose or turkey. After the Christmas feast, you feel stuffed and several kilos heavier. It’s part of the tradition, but it doesn’t necessarily leave you feeling great. In this article, we want to show you that with some simple tricks, you can cut some calories without eliminating classics. It’s not about removing traditional dishes but adjusting recipes so that enjoyment and a low-calorie Christmas meal are no longer opposites. In the end, you decide where you’re willing to compromise and where you’re not.

Every saved calorie counts for your weight reduction. However, Christmas is an exception. So don’t stress too much if you slightly exceed your calorie goal. Think positively: Last year, you might have consumed between 500 and 1000 calories above your recommendation. If it’s only an extra 200 calories this year, that’s already a significant improvement. And you can quickly balance this slight deviation.

Reading tip for our gastric balloon patients: Gastric balloon & Christmas

Tip 1: Swap instead of eliminate

Replace particularly fatty ingredients with lighter alternatives. For example, when cooking, you can replace heavy cream with cooking cream or soy cream. Both options contain less fat and therefore fewer calories than regular cream. In the table below, you can see typical festive meal ingredients that you can exchange for lighter alternatives.

  • Heavy cream –> For casseroles: sour cream, soy cream, cooking cream, cream cheese, For soups and sauces: sour cream, milk, cooking cream, soy cream, For cakes and desserts: a mixture of whipped cream and low-fat quark

  • Mayonnaise in potato salad –> Yogurt or potato salad with vinegar-oil dressing

  • Cheese for gratin –> Mixture of breadcrumbs, cottage cheese, yogurt, and a bit of Parmesan

  • Ground meat –> Ground beef, ground turkey, or soy crumbles

  • French fries or hash browns –> Oven-baked potatoes

  • Cappuccino with cookies or stollen –> Espresso, coffee with a little milk, tea

  • Wine in cooking –> Vegetable broth with balsamic vinegar or dry wine, simmered for a long time
    Sugar for red cabbage –> Grated apple, cranberries

Tip 2: Vegetables as stars

If roast goose, duck, or other heavy main ingredients are a must for you, that’s perfectly fine. To make it a low-calorie Christmas meal, pay attention to the plate distribution. Opt for plenty of vegetables in your Christmas dishes. They are not only low in calories but also rich in vitamins and fiber. A colorful selection of vegetables on the plate not only makes your Christmas meal healthier but also visually appealing, as the saying goes, “you eat with your eyes.”

In plain language: Your plate should be filled with at least 50 percent vegetables. It’s best to cook vegetables without cream sauce, as it can add a lot of calories.

Tip 3: Fish, meat, or veggie alternative?!

Include light fish dishes in your festive menu. Fish is not only an excellent source of protein but also lower in calories compared to some types of meat. Grilled cod, for example, is not only healthy but also suitable for special occasions. Shrimps, mussels, and other seafood are highlights and often low-calorie alternatives.

If you prefer meat, choose lean options like turkey, chicken, or rabbit. The skin often contains a lot of calories, so you should either eat it in small quantities or skip it.

And for those who like something completely different, try a veggie version: Tofu is significantly lighter than many traditional Christmas dishes and boasts plenty of protein – ideal for weight loss and introducing new flavors to your Christmas meal.

Tip 4: Low-calorie Raclette

When it comes to festive eating during the Christmas season, raclette is a popular choice. Opt for lean meats like chicken or turkey, and load your pan with a variety of vegetables. Raclette traditionally involves plenty of rich, hearty cheese. Here, you can save a considerable number of calories. Raclette cheese is often cut very thick; you can halve it or use thinly sliced mountain cheese as an alternative. Lower-fat cheeses like light mozzarella melt well and taste delicious. Raclette traditionally includes potatoes, a great ingredient for weight loss. Learn how to make potatoes even lower in calories here: resistant starch.

Tip 5: Beware of sweet temptations

A Christmas menu is rounded off with a dessert. Even if you’re currently trying to lose weight, you don’t necessarily have to skip it. Instead, choose the right dessert. Fresh fruit, yogurt, quark, and similar options are tasty, easy to prepare, and light. Here are some recipe ideas:

  • Stracciatella quark: Whip low-fat quark with a whisk or hand mixer, mix with a little milk or mineral water. Grate dark chocolate and fold it in with a small amount of sugar (1–2 teaspoons per serving). Serve garnished with fruits.
  • Colorful fruit salad with almonds and natural yogurt. Optionally, flavor the yogurt with the pulp of a vanilla bean.

Tip 6: Homemade sauces

Avoid ready-made and heavy sauces, which are often hidden calorie bombs that can drown vegetables in calories. Instead, create your own light sauces with yogurt, mustard, or herbs. These not only give your dishes a fresh taste but also save calories. This applies to salad dressings and also to gravies.

For a unique salad dressing for the starter, prepare it with cold tea. Replace a large part of the oil with herb or fruit tea.

Tip 7: Sophistication & flavor with herbs

For many, Christmas dinner means adding that extra something. For many classics, it’s the fat that gives the dish its particularly delicious taste. Logically, because butter, cream, cheese, and the like are flavor carriers. For low-calorie Christmas menus, focus on freshness through plenty of herbs and sophistication through unusual spices, rather than fat.

For example, you can use mint in the main course or dessert. Add chopped mint to a fruit salad for a particularly fine aroma, almost without additional calories. Unusual spices like sumac from the oriental kitchen pair perfectly with chicken, lamb, or vegetables. And sometimes, it’s the little things that make a dish a real delight: sprinkle Christmas recipes with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper before serving – simple but still a highlight.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, relaxing holidays, and lots of fun trying out these light holiday dishes! 😊

Maren - Weight Buddy® und Ernährungswissenschaftlerin bei My Weight®

The yo-yo effect, cravings, stress - losing weight can be quite frustrating. But there is a way out for everyone. Together we will find the right solution for you. As a nutritionist at My Weight®, I support my patients individually and personally on their way to their desired weight. Losing weight can and should be fun...and we work on this together! 😊

Maren - Weight Buddy® and nutritionist at My Weight®

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