How to Eat Less During the Holidays

Have a healthy Thanksgiving with lower calorie recipes.

Have a healthy Thanksgiving!

Do you gain weight during the holidays? Many of us do.  But there’s a commonly held belief that the typical weight gain totals 5 pounds or more.  That’s a myth.  When researchers studied holiday weight gain, they found that the typical holiday weight gain is only about one pound.

Why does that matter? Because no one should give in to holiday weight gain.  Those extra pounds are not inevitable and there are ways to eat less and maintain your weight during this social season.  Use these tips to eat less during the holidays.

Tips to Eat Less During the Holidays

  • Be social –  Remember when your mother told you that you should never talk with your mouth full?  You can use that strategy to eat less at parties and family dinners.  Talk more and eat less. You can also help the hostess in the kitchen or offer to assist with table setting or other tasks to stay busy and away from tables of snacks and other goodies.
  • Fill up on veggies first.  When you do visit the food table, look for crunchy veggies to munch on first.  These high fiber foods are low in calories and the fiber will help you to feel fuller longer so you eat less throughout the day.  Skip the dip, though, unless you’ve made Karen Palmer’s low calorie Cheesy Artichoke Spread.
  • Limit your booze intake. Alcoholic beverages can contain hundreds of empty calories and you are less likely to make healthy food choices if you are tipsy.  Before you go to a party or gathering, decide if you are going to have a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail and savor it throughout the event.
  • Skip the sauces.  Dips and sauces can add fat and calories to your dinner.  Yet, we often spoon them onto our plate mindlessly.  Did you know that a single serving of gravy is only 1/4 cup?  When is the last time you measured gravy before you ladled it on to your plate?  Try to enjoy your veggies without dip and your turkey without gravy.  You’ll save hundreds of calories and still enjoy the holiday favorites.
  • Print this list.  Karen Palmer, registered dietitian at North Memorial Medical Center provides Healthy Strategies for Holiday Weight Management.  Check her list for more ways to enjoy the season and stay healthy.  You can even print it out and post it in a place where you can see it every day.

Have a healthy holiday!


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