5 Strategies to Handle Holiday Eating

Published: November 19th, 2014 |
Author: Sally Kuzemchak

Stay on track with these easy tricks.


Next week is Thanksgiving, marking the start of a weeks-long food marathon. Because let’s face it, the holiday season isn’t about just a couple of big meals. There are multiple holiday parties and gatherings, bowls of festive candy at work, cookie exchanges, and a general sense of celebration that goes hand in hand with overeating. If you’re trying to stay on track with healthy eating or exercise, it can feel impossible to navigate.

I indulge during the holidays too. It’s the one time of year when I get to have special foods like my mom’s thumbprint cookies and my brother-in-law’s sausage and mushroom stuffing. I eat those foods and don’t fret about it. But like everyone else, I find it hard to resist all the extra goodies that seem to be everywhere during the holidays. These strategies help keep me on track:

  • I exercise. The holidays make me want to exercise more, probably because I know I need to balance out the extra treats. If I can wake up early before the craziness of the day begins, even better.
  • I eat a light breakfast. If I start out the day with a gooey cinnamon roll, I feel sluggish and crave sweets all day. I’m much better off with a green smoothie.
  • I’m strategic at buffets. Some of my favorite buffet foods are also some of the lowest in calories, like steamed shrimp and crudité. (I love when someone does all the work of washing and chopping vegetables for me!) I load my plate with those, which leaves less room for fudge and high-calorie dips, two of my other buffet favorites!
  • I don’t overbake. I love to bake holiday cookies but I don’t like having tons of sweets in the house calling my name all day long. I bake just one or two types of cookies and only make enough for us to eat for a few nights and give to some neighbors.
  • I get right back on track. If I eat too much at a holiday party, I don’t allow that to trickle over into the next day and the next. I try to get back to my usual eating habits at the very next meal or snack.

How do you stay on track during the holidays?

—Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Related Links:
Buffet Strategies for Moms
Eliminate Emotional Eating
Fill Up on Fiber

Keywords: Healthy Eating, holidays, weight loss