Around the world, every culture has put its own unique spin on Valentine’s Day, yet at the center is the act of celebrating the ones you love. Oftentimes this is demonstrated with food whether it be an elaborate dinner out, decadent dessert, a box of chocolates or all the above. But with a few tips and some planning, you can get through the day without adding too many extra calories.
Plan an Activity
With Valentine’s Day taking place on a Sunday this year, plan an activity that encourages physical fitness. Not only will you burn calories, but spending time doing something active means you have less time to sit and overindulge on food. An added bonus is regular physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease. We suggest taking a hike, going for a romantic stroll around a new area you want to explore or your neighborhood, renting bikes or trying something you have never done before.
Practice Portion Control
Remember that restaurant serving sizes are often larger than normal portions. If you do go out to celebrate at a restaurant, consider splitting a meal with your date or taking half home for later.
Cook at Home
Cooking at home not only helps with portion control, but it also allows you to keep track of your calories. Try some of these recipes
for your candlelight dinner. We recommend the Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
for dessert made with aspartame to cut calories.
Keep it Sweet
Instead of giving chocolates this year, send a fruit basket to your loved one. Chocolate dipped fruit is a great option that still provides a little chocolate. Flowers are also a nice token that are not even food related. If your sweetie does gift you chocolate, enjoy it in moderation by treating yourself to a single piece each day.
Skip the cocktail this Valentine’s Day and opt for a glass of red wine instead. If you already consume alcohol, swapping to a daily glass of red wine is believed to help reduce the risk of blood clots and keep the cardiovascular system in shape. It’s an especially good time to start healthier eating habits since February is Heart Month. See the AHA website
for more tips on nutrition and heart health.
We hope you have a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day.