- Survev your options and plan your portions before filling your plate.Liza McCorkle/Photodisc/Getty Images
The holiday season is like a minefield for people trying to maintain a healthy diet. It's not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day people shower you with candy canes and chocolates, and are piling rich foods and richer desserts high on your plate. In the face of temptation, it pays to have a plan so you can side-step disaster.
Don't Go Hungry
- If you're going to a holiday party or dinner, don't go on an empty stomach, warns Healthcastle.com. Going in hungry can lead to more temptation to overeat. Don't skip meals. A healthy, but filling, breakfast and lunch and smart snack choices throughout the day will keep you satiated so you'll be able to make sensible choices when faced with a holiday spread.
- Avoid piling up your plate with fattening foods. There are often so many choices at Christmas celebrations that taking a regular-sized portion of all the things you want to sample can lead to overeating. Be picky, take only the things you truly want the most and put smaller portions on your plate. That way you'll get to taste a bit of everything without stuffing yourself.
Stay Away from Trigger Foods
- Most people have a certain food that they simply cannot stop eating once they start, whether it's potato chips, fresh baked breads or chocolate treats. This is known as a trigger food. Kaboose.com recommends staying away from trigger foods during the holidays to avoid sending your brain into binge mode. If you know something triggers an insatiable appetite, just leave it alone and move on to another choice.
Serve Healthy Alternatives
- Whether you are hosting a party yourself, or going to a pot luck or family dinner with a dish, bring a nutritional alternative. That way everyone can enjoy a healthy Christmas dish as an alternative to the usual fattening fare without feeling deprived. QuickandSimple.com offers suggestions like fruit kabobs, trays of low-fat cheese with multigrain crackers, or vegetables sauteed in olive oil.
Drink in Moderation
- Alcohol contains a lot of calories, and sometimes you can forget to tally those calories when calculating your intake for the day. Topping off a drink while socializing can quickly make you lose track. But alcohol is not the only threat. Hot cocoa, coffee, soda pop, non-alcoholic eggnog and other rich drinks can also add excess fat and sugar to your daily intake. Alternate alcoholic or high-calorie beverages with lighter refreshments, like sparkling water or tea with lemon. Stay hydrated with plenty of water to keep yourself from getting thirsty so you won't keep reaching for refills.