Q. How do I stay in control of my holiday eating?

by Carol Inkrott, RD, LD, CDE

Make a plan to stay organized and “in control” this holiday season by:

-- Keep a running list of errands, groceries and gifts. Plan to finish as many things in fewer trips
-- Grocery shop when full or stash healthy snacks in car or purse like nuts, whole grain crackers or dried fruit to eat before entering store. Shopping on an empty stomach and without a list can lead to unhealthy and more food purchases.
-- Rethink how much and what you need to bake. The more treats in the house, the more you’re tempted. Bake and give less this year. Fruit or gift cards are great gift options or attend a holiday
event together.
-- Keep holiday treats in freezer, not on counter to reduce temptation. Plan snacks.
-- Consider a pre-party snack, if you arrive famished, you’re more likely to devour too much of the
wrong things.
-- Use a smaller plate. Make just one trip to the food table and fill only a salad size plate with your favorites.

Stay active. Don’t mistake being “busy” for being ”active”. You still need 30 minutes exercise each day. Break it up into smaller sessions. Park farther away when shopping to walk more.

Choose healthier foods most of the time in controlled portions.
-- If you eat healthy foods (whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lowfat milk and lean meat/protein foods) at regular intervals throughout the day, you’re much less likely to overeat at parties.
-- Bring a healthy dish when attending a party (vegetable tray, or fruit or salad, etc.). You’ll have at least one healthy option.
-- Eat smaller servings of holiday treats by cutting portions. Cut pies into 12 slices vs. 6-8.
Cut bar cookies into bite-size pieces. Bake smaller cookies and mini-muffins.

Drink water throughout each day. Holiday beverages such as eggnog, fruit punches and alcoholic mixed drinks, beer, wine, etc are loaded with extra unhealthy calories. Decide before you arrive what your limit will be.

Stay positive – If you overeat at a party, get back on track tomorrow. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do most of the time that counts.

Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Counselor, and Certified Diabetes Educator