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Whether you’re watching your weight or you’re on a specific diet, here are some tips from Kelsey-Seybold Dietitian Ronda Elsenbrook, R.D.

  • Develop a set of realistic and attainable goals during the holiday season.

Instead of losing weight, perhaps a more reasonable goal would be maintaining your current weight.

  • Avoid skipping meals or include at least a snack every 4 hours in your daily routine.

Appetite increases and self-control decreases when meals are spaced too far apart or skipped. A well-balanced snack, such as yogurt or a turkey and low fat cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with mustard, every 4 hours, will help to curb the appetite and prevent excessive eating at the dinner table.

  • Drink water or sugar free beverages in place of juice, punch, regular soda and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Desserts and sweetened foods are always abundant during the holidays; by avoiding concentrated sweetened beverages, you will minimize your caloric intake.

  • Avoid depriving yourself of the foods you want.

Limit yourself to one full plate of food with small portions of the sugary, high-calorie items, such as candied yams.

  • Include a leafy green salad with lunch and dinner meals and do the dipping method when using salad dressing.

Salad is a low calorie item with a satiating effect. Dip the salad fork in the dressing and then get your salad to give you the taste of the dressing and to minimize calories.

  • Go easy on the alcohol.

Aim for lower calorie beverages, such as light beer or wine, and limit yourself to 1-2 beverages.

  • Stay well hydrated during the holiday season.

Often times we are not hungry; we are really thirsty. Reach for a large cold glass of water before reaching for those chips, wait 10 minutes and ask yourself if you are really hungry or just thirsty.

  • Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

Remember, excessive intake of calories during the holidays will lead to weight gain. Exercise for one hour daily to help balance caloric intake, decrease stress levels and elevate mood.

  • Stay Positive!

If you eat more than you planned, remember tomorrow is a new day. Get back on track with a brisk walk and include a salad at your meals.