7 Ways to Keep Your Diet on Track During the Holidays

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Holiday dinners are usually far from a light bite. With several courses, more deserts, larger potions, and heartier foods it’s not surprising that we are usually left feeling stuffed and a little guilty.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital dietician Patricia Nicholas recommends avoiding the guilt trip by incorporating "new favorites" to the traditional dishes. "Healthy meals can be festive as well and hopefully, you have been making healthy changes to your diet all year."

“Stay in tune with your hunger during holiday meals. If you feel satiated and comfortable – stop eating!” suggests NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital dietician Michelle Morgan.

Keep on track this holiday season by following their holiday feast survival guide:

• Re-think your appetizers. Incorporate healthier pre-meal snack options. Swap the bread bowl for whole-wheat pita with a low-fat bean dip!

• Add some color to your holiday dinner spread with a bowl of fruit or a vegetable salad.

• Choose smaller portions. You can still taste all the foods in your holiday spread without overeating. Remember, an occasional indulgence will not destroy your weight-loss attempts, and if you don't love something don't eat it.

• The only thing that should be stuffed during the holidays is the turkey! Just because there is more food sitting around, does not mean you need to eat more. A forkful of pie will do less damage than a whole piece.

• No need for second helpings; have a calorie-free chat instead. The holidays are a great time to engage in conversation with your loved ones – and this will not add inches to your waistline. Just be sure to move the conversation away from the food!

• Don't skip meals prior to a holiday party or dinner. You are less likely to overeat if you have eaten well throughout the day.

• Don't allow holiday activity to slow down your exercise program. Bundle up and take a walk after your holiday meal – this not only can prevent you from overeating and picking at leftovers, but is also a great way to burn off some of the extra calories you may have consumed.

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  • Mira

    I like to eat a handful of almonds about 30 minutes prior to meal time. They fill me up enough to still be able to eat, but not make rash hunger decisions with all of the unhealthy holiday food sitting around. It makes you think about how hungry you actually are.

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