1. Move

Keep moving with daily life activities – stairs, walk, seasonal sports/activities, clean,  do squats during commercial breaks – just move whenever and everywhere you can
Plan time each day to exercise; don’t let the holidays break your routine
Physical activity helps weight management and lessens stress

 2. Fuel Up Before a Celebration

 Eat a small snack before you go to the party and avoid skipping meals during the day to make overeating less of a temptation
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated to feel fuller and eat less
 Pick a protein for greater satiety

3. Bring Your Own

Offer to bring your favorite dish to share that is healthy fare, such as salad, vegetable dish, chicken, fish, or even a healthier dessert. 

4. Eat Consciously

Eat in relaxed environment with soft lighting and music
Enjoy your surroundings and the company
Chew slowly, savoring each bite to really enjoy those foods you may only eat once a year
Pace yourself and eat till satisfied, not stuffed.

 5. Take inventory

Take your time and get cozy with your surroundings. Ease your way to the food table.

  • Look at all the foods available on the buffet to choose the ones that are worth eating before diving right in. Don’t waste calories on the foods you don’t enjoy.
  •  Start with low calorie foods first.
  • Cut out the extras or sides, like nuts, cheese, gravy, cream sauces, dressing, butter, whipped cream. Skip the appetizers.
  • Fill up fiber and color with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • The more variety on your plate, the more you will eat. So be choosy with your calories. Only pick the foods you really want to eat. Limit to two items on your plate when you go to the food table. Food variety stimulates the appetite.

6. Watch the Alcohol

Calories from alcohol are ‘empty calories’, no nutritional value.
Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages, preferably water or seltzer.
Alcohol decreases inhibitions to overeat.

 7. Turn Your Back on Temptation

Socialize away from the kitchen or buffet to avoid nibbling
Literally face away from the food and dessert table or go to another room
The proximity and visibility of food increases your change of eating that food.
Socialize, talk more, eat less

 8. Politely Say “No”

Don’t allow family and friends to pressure you into eating seconds or foods that you don’t want.
It’s OK to respectfully decline.

 9.  Pick a Partner

A good support system helps you stick to your plan by keeping you focused and motivated

 10.  Smart Strategies

 Chew gum or a mint
 Wear fitted or tailored clothing
 Carry a water glass or plate and napkin in one hand to make it more challenging to grab food
 Use a smaller plate or a napkin

 Lela Iliopoulos is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and an expert in nutrition therapy, health promotion, and education. She is passionate about impacting nutritional health through the practical application of science-based information