10 tips to enjoy holiday treats without losing control

By UCHealth Wellness Team
Nov. 19, 2015
photo of pies
Photo: Getty Images.

With work parties, family celebrations, leftovers and festive treats around every corner, resistance proves to be a challenge. Overindulging seems inevitable during the holiday season, but it is possible to enjoy in moderation. Small decisions over time make a big difference. With the right mindset and a few tricks up your sleeve, the added holiday pounds can hit the naughty list.

Use these 10 tips to avoid the holiday bulge:

  1. Taste and freeze. When a friend or neighbor brings over a pie or sweet treat, take a slice and freeze the rest. Try freezing the treat in individual servings to prevent overeating all at once.
  2. Pre-game. Eat a small, healthy meal before heading to a holiday party. If you arrive starving, it’ll be easier to overeat on decadent foods rather than having one or two servings.
  3. Think slow and steady. Eat and drink slowly. Take your time socializing to create a distraction from the dessert bar.
  4. Make it a garden party. If the party is a buffet, go for a plate of fresh fruits or a salad as a first course.
  5. Water, please. Watch the calories in drinks. Alcohol isn’t the only beverage with excessive calories. Juices, cider and eggnog add up to significant calories and fat.
  6. Follow your nose. Limit your taste-testing when cooking to prevent eating a whole meal while you’re cooking it. Try small bites or judge the meal by the smell.
  7. Move it, or lose It. As your schedule gets busier, make time for exercise. Plan a workout class with a friend. Go for a walk before a big meal. Walk the mall instead of online shopping.
  8. Pace yourself. If you’re planning on having a larger feast, it may be helpful to have a lighter breakfast and lunch.
  9. Pick a favorite. Choose to indulge on your favorite dessert instead of trying one of all of them.
  10. Use the buddy system. Find a friend who will help you stay on track. Find ways together to fight off grazing and snacking on leftovers.

Cheers to a healthy, happy holiday.

About the author

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.