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Weight Maintenance for the Holidays
Information provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health

Celebrate! Food is one of the pleasures of parties, holiday festivities and other social gatherings at any time of year. Just because you're trying to eat healthfully doesn't mean you need to avoid holiday celebrations or accept a few extra party pounds. Any food-even traditional holiday fare-can fit into a healthful eating plan for the calorie-conscious. The secret is moderation and balance.

* Be realistic. Trying to lose weight during the holidays may be a self-defeating goal. Instead strive to maintain your weight.

* Balance party eating with other meals. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy celebration foods, too-without overdoing your energy intake for the day.

* Take the edge off your hunger before a party. Eat a small, low-fat snack such as fruit or a bagel. Feeling hungry can sabotage even the strongest willpower!

* Conversation is calorie-free! Avoid rushing to the food table when you arrive at a party. Greet people you know, get a beverage and settle into the festivities before eating.

* Ask for sparkling water and a lime twist rather than wine, champagne or a mixed drink. Sparkling water doesn't contain calories.

* If you're bringing a dish, make it healthfully delicious-and low-calorie, too. That way, you'll know there's always something with fewer calories you can munch on. Perhaps bring raw vegetables with a yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or a platter of juicy, fresh fruit.

* Forget the all-or-nothing mindset. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods, or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them, isn't a healthful eating strategy.

* When you're entertaining, make over your menus with fewer calories and fat. Your guests probably won't detect the difference.

* Have fun! Sharing food is part of many people's celebrations. Enjoying a traditional holiday meal and party foods with family and friends doesn't need to destroy healthful food habits you've nurtured all year long.

* Physical activity is a good way to burn calories before you head out, and can make you feel less guilty when enjoying party favorites.


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