holiday plate Holiday Weight Management Tips

1. Plan ahead. Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Think ahead…Where is the event being held? What kinds of food will be served? How will you manage your food choices with the extra food at the holiday meal or party? Come up with a plan to deal with the obstacles.
2. Focus on the company or activity rather than the food. Cherish the time spent with family and friends. It’s time to visit and catch up and that is more important than the food on the table.
3. Keep your distance from the food table. If you are a party with the food set out to serve yourself, stand on the other side of the room and keep your back to the table. It’s easier to control your eating if you’re not staring at the food.
4. Eat at regular mealtimes. Many families eat holiday meals mid-afternoon. If you allow yourself to get too hungry, you may want to overeat. Try to keep your holiday meals on your usual time schedule. Eat your breakfast and have your holiday meal at lunch or at dinner. Remember not to skip meals on days when you have a party. This will increase the likelihood of overeating since you will be walking into the party hungry.
5. Leave the serving dishes on the counter. If you put all the food on the table it is too easy to keep eating without thinking about it. If you have to get up to get to more food, you are more aware of what you are doing.
6. Limit portion sizes. Your stomach or pouch doesn’t know it’s the holidays. It doesn’t need to be filled to the top to be full. Eat slower and savor every bite.
7. Include fruits and/or veggies at all meals and snacks. Foods that are high in fiber and water content will help keep you feeling more satiated longer than dry foods for a lot less calories.
8. Be choosey. Limit treats and high calorie beverages to special occasions. There may be lots of extra treats at work or at home, but everyday is not a special occasion. Be choosey about the foods served at holiday meals. If you decide to drink higher caloric beverages such as alcohol or eggnog, limit them to one drink since they are empty calories.
9. Increase physical activity. It still comes down to numbers. More calories in than out leads to weight gain. To balance this out you need to increase calories out. Make an effort to look for ways to get in extra steps at home, at work, and out shopping. If you have a regular exercise program put it on your schedule to make it happen.
10. Stay focused on your goals. Don’t let the weeks get you sidetracked. It’s easier to stay on track than to veer off too far and have to get back on track.

Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, "Health and Lifestyle Program."
Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”