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December 18, 2012

Tips to eat healthy, indulge some over the holidays

Many of us have already begun a holiday season full of food. 

It is really wonderful to have celebrations to attend with festive cookie platters and goody jars at every stop, but if this goes on for a full month, these treats can really add up. I think indulging during a celebration is not only normal, but a good idea. However, some of us have to limit how often these indulgences occur. Here are a few simple tips to help navigate a season of decadent eating. 

▶ Make a plan. When it comes to food, planning is the best way to prevent overeating. If you have three get-togethers in one day, eating everything at each stop is going to lead to stomach problems, if nothing else. You probably know what your favorites are at each gathering and may have been waiting a whole year to enjoy them again. If that’s the case, stick to small portions. Since you’ll get what you were waiting for, you will be satisfied but not too full to eat at your next stop. If you are worried someone will be offended that you did not eat enough, just explain that you have other events to attend and make a big deal out of their best dish, whatever your favorite may be.

▶ Eat before. It may seem counterintuitive to eat before you go to a big meal, but if you skip meals, you will usually consume even more calories by the end of the day. Eat breakfast and lunch or snacks depending on the time of the gathering. You should eat light, lower-calorie foods if you are planning for a really heavy meal. Including whole grains, vegetables and fruit in your regular meals prior to a big dinner will help you to be hungry but not so hungry that you eat three platefuls.

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