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Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Date:11/25/2009

Two experts offer waistline-friendly ways to enjoy festive feasting

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- If you love the five-week holiday smorgasbord from Thanksgiving to New Year's, but are already stressing about the added pounds you'll have to sweat off come Jan. 1, help is at hand.

It's possible, say nutrition experts, to enjoy holiday eating and make it to 2010 weighing the same as you do today.

It's all about devising a strategy and thinking about holiday food just a little differently, said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, and Julie Redfern, manager of the Nutrition Consult Services at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Both are registered dietitians who shared their best holiday eating tips.

First, have a plan. Ponder it before family dinners and parties, said Redfern. For instance, you may decide before going to a family sit-down dinner that you will fix your plate once and it will include lots of vegetables. About one-fourth of the plate will be protein-rich food and about one-fourth carbs. You will not go back for seconds.

Eat before you go. Starving guests are more apt to load up their plates, so Diekman suggests having a piece of fruit smeared with peanut butter or a small container of yogurt prior to heading out. You can then approach the buffet table more relaxed.

Think ''pick and choose," not ''sample." Picking and choosing is a great strategy, said Redfern, if it involves picking the one dessert or other goodie you love and can't live without. Instead of sampling all three pies at a holiday dinner, decide which one you'll wish you had had, and then go for it, she suggested.

Remember, alcohol is loaded with calories. Start off at a party with seltzer water or sparkling water, then switch to alcoholic beverages. Delaying the alcohol may also make you take in fewer
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