Mason Dining Offers Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Posted: December 5, 2011 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: December 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

With holiday parties — and the tempting treats they bring — coming up in the next few weeks, many of us will worry about putting on extra pounds. The following tips provided by Dining Services can help you enjoy the season’s bounty while maintaining a healthy weight.

Fill up on healthy fare first – Even if you can’t control what goes on the menu, you have total control over what goes in your mouth. Fresh fruits and vegetable platters can be your best options at the buffet because they’re abundant in fiber.

Enjoy smaller portions – Fried foods, sweets and other high-calorie treats don’t have to be off limits. Eat them in small portions. You’ll be surprised to find that a taste is usually all you need to satisfy a craving.

Step away from the buffet – Hanging out by the buffet sets you up for grazing. Don’t make eating your pastime for the evening. Work on your people skills.

Eat before you leave home – An empty stomach is an invitation to binge at a holiday gathering. Keep yourself from filling up on fatty party foods by eating a small meal or a low-fat snack such as fruit or a small bagel before going to a party.

Don’t drink your calories – Champagne, wine, mixed drinks, spiked eggnog and other alcoholic beverages are heavy on calories and light on nutrients. Cut calories by quenching your thirst with sparkling water and a twist of lemon or lime, which has zero calories. Drinking water with your meal also helps you eat less because it gives you that full feeling.

Go easy on gravy, dips and sauces – Use these high-calorie items sparingly or substitute them with lower-calorie items like yogurt, cottage cheese dip, salsa or vinaigrette dressings. Use lemon juice to flavor vegetables instead of cheese sauces.

Be realistic – Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Instead, maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals. Eat lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy the party and stay within your calorie range.

Don’t let people force food on you – If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat. When you are full, stop eating.

Exercise – Keep your exercise routine during the holidays to burn off the excess calories. If you don’t exercise, now is a good time to start.

Review your cooking methods – Use lower-calorie ingredients when appropriate for healthier holiday eating.

Remember, all foods can fit in your diet! The key is moderation and balance.

For more information, contact Daliana Gandarillas, marketing coordinator for Mason Dining, at

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