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How to Survive the Holiday Eating Season
Date:12/23/2011

vereat."

Ansel suggests that you think now about the foods you really enjoy and plan to focus on those while eating less of more common fare.

"Think about what are the favorite things you want, and separate things you can only get around the holidays from things you can get anytime," she said. "You love Christmas cookies? Go ahead and have some, but don't have a brownie because you can have that anytime."

Be careful, too, about alcohol intake, for a couple of reasons. Alcoholic drinks, particularly the fancy ones handed out at holiday time, tend to come loaded with calories. "It's usually what you're adding to a drink that contains the calories," Crandall said.

Also, if you're drunk, you might forget to watch what you're eating. "It totally lowers your inhibitions," Ansel said, "and you'll start eating things you never would have eaten" if you were sober.

Other holiday eating tips, suggested by Crandall and Ansel, include:

  • Eat lots of vegetables, and eat them first before moving on to the other items on your plate.
  • Recognize that many holiday extras, like cheese or cranberry sauce, come loaded with calories. "If those aren't your favorite foods, don't put them on your plate," Crandall said.
  • If your favorite food has a lot of calories, be sure to minimize your portion. "Two bites cure the craving," Crandall said. "After that, you're just really feeding your old habits. It's not really giving you any nutrition, and you're not curing that craving anymore."
  • Keep your portions small. Remember that a portion of meat should be the size of a cellphone or a deck of cards, Crandall said. A serving of carbohydrates like mashed potatoes or bread should be about the size of your fist.
  • After a big holiday meal, don't sink into a recliner or couch. Go for a walk outdoors or participate in some other activity that helps burn off some of the calories you've just eaten.

One final tip: Be read
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