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SUNDAY, Dec. 24, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- With just a bit of planning and effort you can control your eating over the holidays, and you won't have to work so hard in January to shed extra pounds.
"Follow the smart diet," suggested Dr. Santiago Horgan, director of the Center for the Treatment of Obesity at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center.
"Eat the calories you want but not the ones you don't need. Avoid unhealthy snacking. Think ahead and choose where you are going to consume your calories. For example, if you have a big holiday meal planned, decided ahead of time where you want to consume your calories," Horgan said in a prepared statement.
If you love pumpkin pie, then have some of that, but limit your consumption of other foods such as potatoes, gravy, or dressing.
Horgan offered some other tips on how to control your calorie intake over the holidays:
- Dampen you appetite by eating a healthy snack before you go to parties.
- Think about and control your portions by using a salad-sized plate for your entree and side dishes. Eat a salad on an entree-sized plate before the main meal.
- Recognize when you're full. "It takes a good 20 minutes before your stomach signals you brain that it's full, so eat slowly, and the second you start feeling satisfied, stop eating," Horgan said.
- Reduce the amount of fat in holiday meals. For example, use fat-free chicken broth or low-fat milk instead of butter when you prepare mashed potatoes. When sauteing celery and onions for the stuffing, use non-stick spray in the pan. Bake the stuffing in a separate dish instead of inside the turkey. Skim the fat off the turkey drippings before you use it to make gravy.
- Try to get exercise or do other kinds of physical activity to offset extra holiday calories.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about weight control.
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Updated on June 12, 2022