Managing healthy portions during the holidays

The holidays are a time we experience love and affection through food. Here are a few ways you can manage portions this holiday season.


The holidays are a time we experience love and affection through food. However, it is easy to fill up on holiday cheer and deviate from the progress you have made to build a healthier you.

There are still ways to enjoy ourselves if we remain thoughtful in our approach. Here are a few ways you can manage portions this holiday season.

Tips to prevent overeating

  • Don’t go hungry: If you arrive at an event with a temptation to overindulge, odds are you will. Instead, have a small-but-complete meal ahead of time (one that includes fat and protein) to keep hunger at bay.

  • Keep your plate small: When you do partake in hors d’oeuvres or other tasty snacks, use a small plate or napkin to make your selections more modest. Limit yourself to a single plate.

  • Be present while eating: It is easy to mindlessly eat while preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of any event. Take time to thoroughly enjoy the plate before you.

  • Avoid grazing: Small snacks and bite-size appetizers can easily add up. To prevent overeating, add small portions of these items to your plate from the start.

  • Limit alcohol: To stay in the spirit and drink with moderation, be sure to sip slowly and dilute beverages with seltzer. Be sure to supplement with a glass of water for proper hydration.


Managing how we eat during holiday meals

  • Limit the appetizers: As mentioned above, snacks leading up to the main course can be filling and lead to less enjoyment of the main meal. Avoid grazing while you await your entrée.

  • Decorate your plate: A holiday meal should reflect those you normally eat. Fill half your plate with vegetables, including salad or other greens, and be sure to include protein to keep you fuller longer.

  • Enjoy dessert: We suggest you pick one dessert per gathering. Grab a small portion and enjoy! Cap it off with a cup of hot tea to increase the sensation of satisfaction.

  • Bring your own: If you have concerns about a low-sugar or low-carb dish, offer to bring your own. Side dishes like a small cheese board with berries, pears and walnuts or roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and balsamic glaze are healthy alternatives everyone can enjoy.

The holidays are a special time, so enjoy the celebrations. Spend quality time with family and friends and take pleasure in your traditions. If you get off track, remember to stay positive and get back in your routine the next day!


Erica Seebeck is an advanced practice registered nurse with the Metabolic Medical Weight Loss Center in Wilton, Conn. Contact the office at (203) 762-3353. Learn more about Nuvance Health’s bariatric and metabolic weight-loss programs here.