Strategies to Make Healthy Choices at Holiday Gatherings

Don't allow yourself to get hungry. Hunger often leads to poor food choices and overeating.

  • Eat healthy snack before going to a party (fruits, veggies, yogurt, etc.)
  • Don't skip meals on holidays; eat at least three meals, as you would on a regular day.
  • Take a healthy appetizer and/or dessert to the party to ensure you have at least one good option to choose.

Portion Control is key.   

  • Use a smaller plate so you don't take too much food.  Keep portions small. A taste often satisfies a craving.
  • Survey your options before filling your plate.  That way you can enjoy your favorites without wasting calories on things you don't care about as much.
  • Try to limit yourself to one trip through the food buffet.
  • If you would like more to satisfy cravings, make a doggy bag and take a portion home.

Do not Stand beside the food at a gathering.

  • You can often snack on hors d'oeuvres without realizing how much you are eating. 
    Focus on the conversation rather than the food-enjoy the company!

Avoid "clean your plate syndrome".

  • Leaving some food on your plate will signal that you are done eating, and people will be less likely to ask if you want seconds.
  • To avoid grazing or mindless eating, once you fill your plate with those favorites, enjoy them, but throw the plate away (or put it in the dishwasher) when you are done.  Brushing your teeth, chewing a piece of gum or eating a small mint will help prevent you from eating more.

Limit alcoholic and sugary beverages.

  • The calories you drink add up quickly and often don't provide nutritional value to the diet.
  • Alcoholic beverages may also stimulate your appetite and inhibit your ability to make appropriate food choices.

If you are hosting the party, be sure to send leftovers with guests as they leave, so you are not tempted to splurge on them later.