If you would like to not gain the usual holiday pounds, here are a few calorie-saving tips.

Healthier holidays

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Do you find yourself at holiday parties, struggling to make reasonable food choices at the buffet table? It can be very difficult to resist the many holiday food temptations that are all around us. If you would like to not gain the usual holiday pounds, here are a few calorie-saving tips.

  • Eat 3 meals – this can help arrive at the holiday gathering NOT starved.
  • Enjoy small bites of the richest(highest calorie) foods.
  • Lighten up the high-calorie holiday drinks with either smaller servings or calorie-free mixers.

When you hit the holiday buffet table, have small amounts of the most appealing and move away from the table. Make it an effort to go back for seconds. Best choices?

  • Always vegetables and fruits
  • Salmon, shrimp and chicken breast
  • Pretzels, nuts and baked chips

Think about bringing a healthy dish to your next gathering. You and your health-conscious friends will have a good choice to enjoy:

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Mini turkey breast meatballs in cranberry-BBQ sauce
  • One-crust pumpkin pie or pumpkin-raisin bars

The holidays are filled with food treats loaded with fat, sugar and calories. Be sure to enjoy some of the seasonal treats but not at the expense of your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels or weight. Many of your favorite party recipes can belightened up in some way. Look over the ingredients to see if you can cut out the salt completely, trim the fat or reduce the sugar.

And don’t forget the value of a daily walk to offset the extra calories.

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About The Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years, and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.