Healthy Holidays

How can I stay on my diet when I eat at holiday parties?

A Answers (4)

  • ALarry Cheskin, MD, Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of Johns Hopkins Medicine
    •Eat slowly and ENJOY the food This will help you to feel full before you have overeaten. An easy strategy is to put your fork down between each bite and chew at least 10 times for every mouthful.
    •Don’t let the buffet control you! Use a small plate and fill half with fresh fruits and vegetables, one quarter with protein (chicken, turkey, or fish, shellfish, eggs, and tofu) and the other quarter with high-fiber starches (peas, beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice).  Allow one layer of food only, and choose only the most simply prepared items. Steer clear of high-calorie sauces and dips. (Make your own low-calorie versions and bring as a contribution to the party!)
    •Shift your focus away from food. Chatting at a dinner party or helping out with the dishes is a surefire way to keep your hands away from second helpings and food buffets. It also makes for a happy host!
    •Be selective about sweets. Choose a small portion of the dessert that is most appealing to you, make it last for five minutes if you can, and enjoy every bite! Or, BYOLCD! (Bring your own low-calorie dessert.)
    •Kick the Lickin’ in the Kitchen. Pop a piece of sugarless gum, savor a sugarless mint, or rinse with strong mouthwash right before cooking and baking to entertain your taste buds so that you can easily avoid mindless eating.
    Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
  • AMarjorie Nolan Cohn, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Try following these tips to stick with your diet throughout the holiday season.
    • Don't go to a party hungry. Eat a light snack before going out.
    • Choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small.
    • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items. Fill up on lower calorie, nutrient dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grain breads.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • When you arrive at a party, avoid rushing to the food. Go enjoy some conversation with friends and family first.
    • Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
    • Hold your glass in the hand that you normally eat with to make finger foods less accessible.
    • Contrast flavors, textures and temperatures for more satisfaction in your eating.
    • Avoid grazing while. Little nibbles can really add up!
    • Be physically active every day. Take a walk after a meal if you can.
  • AJudy Caplan, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Motivation and commitment are the main ways to stay on your diet over the holidays. Before the holidays arrive, set a weight goal and a plan to make it happen. Make sure you get to the gym on a regular basis. Decide ahead of time what you will let yourself eat at holiday parties. Also decide what you will to let yourself not eat. Planning ahead is the key to success.
  • AKaryn Springer, MD, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of Intermountain Healthcare

    Try to eat a small, healthy snack prior to the party so that you won't be starving by the time the party starts. 

    When you are at the party, watch serving sizes, especially on foods that are high in fat like meats, sauces and dips. If there are things you really want to try, take just enough for a couple bites and really take the time to taste and enjoy them. This will help satisfy you without overdoing it.

    Choose water or low-calorie beverages in order to avoid drinking the extra calories.

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