How to Eat During the Holidays

Without Sacrificing Your Favorite Foods or Your Waistline

Have you ever stood on a scale at the end of the holiday season and wondered how the extra pounds crept on? It’s no secret that a sugar cookie here, a slice of pie there, and a few glasses of eggnog in between can lead to a few pounds gained. When you’re surrounded by Christmas goodies, how can you resist? Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect your waistline this holiday season without completely cutting out your favorite treats.


When you see a regular buffet of your favorite holiday treats, don’t immediately start scarfing down everything that looks remotely tasty and sweet. First, scope out the food — without a plate — so you won’t be tempted to start eating without really looking. Then, find the treats that are your absolute favorites and choose one or two of them to eat. You don’t have to give up sweets during the holidays; instead, eat with discretion.


To ensure that you don’t overeat at a party or buy junk food that you don’t need when shopping, eat a healthy snack before going out. Before you head out to a party, eat a snack chock-full of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and unsaturated fats. Apple slices with peanut butter work, as well as lean meats and cheeses. If you’re headed to the grocery store, eating a filling snack before you go will make you less likely to impulsively scoop up those sugary cookies and pastries in the bakery.


If you drink alcohol, keep in mind that each drink will probably be somewhere between 150–225 calories. A glass of eggnog can have as many as 500 calories. Alcohol decreases your self-control when you’re eating, while also increasing your appetite. Make sure that if you’re drinking, you’re not doing so on an empty stomach. And to decrease the number of high-calorie drinks that you consume, drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages.
The holidays are a minefield for any healthy diet. But with the right tools, you can ensure that by Jan. 2, your waistline won’t be worse for wear.

-Randy Sklar


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