Holiday survival tips

General hints

  • Approach holiday eating sensibly. Concentrate on how good you will feel if you don't overeat
  • Aim to maintain your weight; don't use the holidays as an excuse to put on weight
  • No matter how busy you are, schedule exercise in. If you can't find a 30-minute block of time, exercise for 15 minutes twice a day or 10 minutes 3 times a day
  • Get enough sleep each night. Fatigue lowers dietary self-control and can lead to cravings for sweets, caffeine and fatty foods
  • Don't skip meals, even on a party day or holiday. People who skip meals often end up overeating the next time they eat
  • Allow yourself a small portion of a treat every once in awhile and be satisfied with that. People who do this tend to stay on track with healthy eating habits better
  • If you overeat, don't give up. Learn from your mistakes and develop a plan for the next time
  • Try not to buy bags of holiday candy, chocolate and other goodies, especially if you don't have self-control with these foods. If you do buy them, keep them out of sight until the actual holiday instead of putting them in candy dishes

Just one bite – what each nibble means

Party time

  • Don't go to a party ravenously hungry. Eat something light before you go to take the edge off of your hunger
  • PLAN AHEAD! Decide in advance what and how much you are going to eat and then stick with it. Offer to bring a healthy dish to pass
  • Scan the buffet or selection of food choices. Fill your plate with healthier foods and then choose a small portion of a couple other higher fat or higher calorie food items
  • Don't stand near the buffet table. Move away as soon as you have filled your plate
  • If you are invited for cocktails, arrive fashionably late. That way you'll eat and drink less
  • Mingle! The more your mouth is involved in conversation, the less it is involved in eating
  • Keep alcohol to just a few drinks. Alcohol doesn't have fat, but it does have tons of empty calories, which add up quickly. Alcohol also tends to lower inhibitions and impair judgment of food choices. (Check with your doctor or pharmacist for possible reactions between alcohol and your medications. If you have diabetes and are on insulin or certain diabetes pills, monitor your blood sugar.)
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or diet soda

It is possible to follow a healthy eating plan in all situations, even during the holidays when there are more temptations than usual.

Remember: No one can do it for you; you must do it for yourself!