Tips for the Healthy Holiday Eating

1. Focus on weight maintenance. Face the facts, ff you are currently overweight and want to lose weight this is not the time you are going to do it. Keeping a stable weight will be a big enough challenge so don’t set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic goals.

2. Be physically active every day. Try and stay committed to a daily appointment of at least half an hour of physical activity every day. Exercise, especially aerobic activities (like brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, roller blading, and swimming) can help relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn up extra calories from holiday eating.

3. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties so that you don’t turn up famished. This will reduce the temptation to overeat and the temptation of eating the higher fat and higher calorie foods. Try a bit of fruit or yogurt as a snack.

4. Plan ahead – Think about the foods that you plan to eat as a special treat, and the foods that you will try to moderate on. Filling up with healthy food before having the treats you really want is one way to avoid overeating. If you have a plan of action it’s much easier to deal with a difficult social eating situation.

5. Take steps to avoid recreational eating. Consciously make one plate of the foods you really want. Eat it slowly--enjoying and savoring every tasty bite. Then, when you’re done, pop a mint or stick of gum in your mouth, get a tall glass of water and sip on it throughout the night, or position yourself away from the buffet table or food trays to keep yourself from overeating.

6. Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Magazines are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat holiday recipes.

7. Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories not to mention damaging to your body in large quantities. Try limit your intake to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion.

8. Remember it’s not just about food! Enjoy good friends and family. Although food can be a big part of the season, it doesn’t have to be the focus. Holidays are a time to reunite with good friends and family, to share laughter and cheer, to celebrate and to give thanks. Focus more on these other holiday pleasures, in addition to the tastes of holiday foods.

9. Don’t get too hard on yourself: Overeating one day won't make or break your eating plan. It takes days and days of overeating to gain significant weight, so don’t let the odd slip up cause to much guilt or despair.