Solving Holiday Dinner Dilemmas

Rule #1 — Don't skip regular meals on the day of the big banquet.

Holiday Dinner with Family

Holiday Dinner with Family

Who doesn't look forward to feasting with family and friends? Make sure, however, that you don't skip regular meals on the day of the big banquet. If you do, you might well overindulge to satisfy the hunger that's been building.

  • Plan ahead. Eat light meals and a few low-fat snacks throughout the day. Not only will these good-for-you foods help balance what you eat that evening, but you'll have an easier time resisting a second helping at dinner.
  • Slow food. Enjoy the company of those around you by taking your time and eating slowly. It takes about 20 minutes before your stomach even realizes you've consumed food, and some studies suggest that the longer it takes to eat, the more satisfied you'll feel when you're done.
  • Pass on seconds. Kindly pass when your hostess offers you seconds, and do the same when she tries to send you home with leftovers. You'll thank yourself in the morning…and so will your waistline!
  • Sweet ending. One of the toughest challenges to healthy holiday eating is resisting delectable desserts and sugary specialties. When your sweet tooth is calling for some cheer, cut the calories in half—literally. Suggest splitting dessert with a companion or ask for half a slice.
  • If you have an option, consider an angel food or meringue dessert. Choose a gingersnap or sugar cookie over rich chocolate mousse or heavy pumpkin pie. And when all else fails, remember that it's all right to treat yourself to a moderate serving of an extraordinary dessert.

  • Pick your favorites. Don't skip your seasonal favorites entirely. Decide which foods hold special meaning for you and which you can do without. Forget about eating the least favorite, and sample a small portion of the one or two things that you know will make your celebration complete and your holiday merry.