Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Worried that the extra food from holiday parties will cause you to pack on pounds? Here are 10 super-simple ways to eat right and enjoy a healthy holiday.

  1. Don't arrive at a big feast with an empty stomach and whopping appetite. Have a good breakfast to keep you from getting overly hungry later in the day. Before dinner, eat a satisfying, low-cal snack, such as cereal. At the party, fill up on fresh fruit and veggie appetizers first, then try one or two other starters if you have room.
  2. Drink lots of water. At supper, take a sip after every two or three bites of food to help fill you up.
  3. Exercise. Whether it's a casual walk you enjoy just before or after dinner or your own regular workout, keep up your routine. Don't sacrifice your trip to the gym to get the house cleaned or decorated for guests. Exercise will give you more energy, as well as help you to burn off extra calories.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Studies show that when you're tired or extra-stressed, you're more likely to overeat.
  5. Help yourself at the table. Don't let Mom or a well-meaning relative load up your plate for you with more rich stuffing than you should or could eat.
  6. Take it slow. Eating and chewing slowly gives you time to recognize when you've had enough.
  7. Sample half-sizes of those special desserts. Outlawing the pie table completely will likely end up in overindulgence. Instead, savor a half-slice of pie, then wait 20 minutes before going back for a second sample.

  8. (Hostesses, you can help, too!)

  9. Give weight-watching dinner guests something to be thankful for. Make smaller plates and dinnerware available. They offer automatic portion control.
  10. If you're having turkey, leave the skin on while roasting to add flavor and keep it moist, but remove the skin before serving to slash calories and fat.
  11. Offer lighter beverages. Many cocktails are high in calories. Give guests options by serving wine spritzers or sparkling grape juice alongside your usual offerings.

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