Holiday Meals — Enjoying the Taste Without Adding to the Waist

Dr. Keri Peterson
Medical Advisor to the Calorie Control Council

The holidays are a time for revelry and cheer! But with sweets and treats in abundance, it’s easy for healthy eating habits to get lost in the shuffle and those pounds to pile on. However, it’s possible to survive the holidays and keep your waistline intact.  Here are my tips:

  1. Don’t go to a party hungry– have a healthy snack and glass of water before arriving so that you don’t have the urge to devour the buffet table.
  2. Portion control – it’s the time of year where foods you love are prepared. Don’t swear off desserts altogether, just eat in moderation- just a few bites will satiate that sweet tooth.
  3. Choose a small plate at the buffet to limit the amount of food you can pile on.
  4. Give away leftovers to your guests as these are a major culprit for overeating.
  5. Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It’s not just about calories but about control- if you drink a lot your inhibitions go down and you are more likely to overeat. If you feel out of place without a drink try sipping water or club soda, so you have something to carry.  Besides restricting your alcohol to one or two servings, you also need to restrict the type of alcohol. For example, instead of high-fat eggnog, have a light beer or wine. After that, stick with calorie-free drinks such as water, low-calorie sweetened teas and coffees.
  6. If you are cooking, limit the tasting – those extra bites of calories can add up.
  7. Focus on socializing, not food.  Go to a party to socialize, not just eat. Use your energy making conversation rather than focusing on food.
  8. Take a walk with your family after your meal.
  9. Make a pact with co-workers that snacks will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices so as to avoid temptation.

(Here is a recipe for Turkey Meatloaf!)

About Keri Peterson, MD

Keri Peterson MDDr. Peterson is a medical contributor and columnist for Women’s Health and a frequent guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News and CNN. Based in New York City, Dr. Peterson has been in private practice since 1999 and holds appointments at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.   With a BA from Cornell University and a Medical Degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association, and serves as medical advisor for the Calorie Control Council.

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