Make the Holiday Buffet
Your Friend This Season
One expert nutritionist says you don't have to deprive yourself
of favorite yuletide goodies this holiday season -- just enjoy
them in moderation.
Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington
University in St. Louis, offered up some tricks to avoid overindulging.
"The first rule of thumb for eating at holiday gatherings is
never go to the party hungry," said Diekman in a prepared statement.
"Have a little something healthy before you go -- a piece of fruit,
half a sandwich or a glass of milk. Be sure when you arrive that
you aren't overly hungry."
When you get to the party, survey the buffet table and think
about how you're going to approach it.
"Plan on getting your food off the buffet table and then moving
away from the table to eat. Use a plate, and don't stand at the
table and pick at the food. Seeing what is on the plate begins
the process of realizing how much food is enough for you," Diekman
Two-thirds of your plate should be filed with fruits, vegetables
and whole-grains. The remaining third can be meats, sauces, and
high-fat, high-calorie foods.
If you find it hard to resist everything on the table, try to
limit yourself to just small portions of each item.
"It's perfectly fine to do that, as long as you don't gorge yourself.
Try some of everything if you have to, but do it in moderation,"
"In truth, the [holiday] period is not all that long when taken
in the context of an entire year. What people shouldn't do is
worry too much and start limiting lots of foods, especially if
it's a once-a-year food. If you cut out those things entirely,
you'll just end up eating more. Don't cut out those foods, just
shift to smaller portions," she said.
It's also important to limit alcohol intake and get exercise,
"Exercise is a great way to combat holiday stress, and it gives
you some balance if the eating is a little out of hand. After
you've eaten a big meal, let your food digest, and then get out
and move around. Take a walk. Try not to sit on the couch all
day long," Diekman said.