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Eating Healthy Through the Holidays!

Always eat normally on the day of a party, don’t skip meals. Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint. Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.

Skip the appetizers. If you need a little nibble before the meal, go for the veggies, fruit, salsa, or a small handful of nuts.

Check it out and survey party buffets before filling your plate. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your food choices on the buffet before diving in. A buffet is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize it and make wise choices, you're likely to overeat Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include proteins, vegetables and fruits first to fill you up and to keep your plate balanced.

Be a food snob and eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. If you don't love it, don't eat it. Scan the buffet for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. Go ahead, indulge but savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, slowly and mindfully enjoy every mouthful.

Limit the variety, eat in moderation. Put only two items on your plate when you go to the food table. Return again to the table, but only take two items each time. Variety stimulates appetite, and if you limit your choices to just a few items and stick with these, it will be easier to control than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes.

Be careful with beverages and alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories and can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating. Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages.

Chew gum. When you don't want to eat, pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth. This works well when you're cooking or when you're trying not to overindulge.

Take the focus off food and add fun and games. Turn sugar and holiday cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Think corn hole, horseshoes, ladder golf, ice skating, or going on a walking tour of decorated homes. Indoors, try a crazy game of charades, cranium, jenga or have a dance party followed by a dance-off.

Practice healthy holiday cooking and trim the trimmings. Go all out and deck the halls with boughs of holly, glitter, and lights, but when it comes to holiday food, accessorize with care. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories by going easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream - additions that don't add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.

Plan time for exercise and be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try ten to fifteen minute brisk walks twice a day.

Remember that the holidays are a time to enjoy friends and family. Don’t stress about little things such as 1 holiday celebration, party, or mea. Readjust, hit the reset button and recommit yourself to staying healthy through the holidays!

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