Head for the healthy platters at your holiday parties.

The holidays are here, but don’t let it derail you from your weight management goals. It’s quite possible to enjoy festivities, food, and drink without packing on unwanted pounds. Here’s some advice from our Brigham and Women’s Hospital Health-e-Weight program team:

  • Think about what you’ll eat before the holiday meal or party. Don’t save your appetite for one particular meal or party and arrive starved.
  • Focus on vegetables. Use them for appetizers, serve salad as the first course, sneak them (carrots and celery) into a dressing, or make vegetables, in general, the predominant part of your plate.
  • Tinker with traditional recipes. Consider mashing potatoes with skim milk or buttermilk instead of whole milk. Don’t go overboard with brown sugar, marshmallows, or butter if preparing sweet potatoes. Cook stuffing on the stovetop, not in the turkey (or at least have both versions). Try providing a fruit crisp instead of a traditional pie, or elect to have no more than one pie type. Lastly, aim for a sliver rather than a slice or wedge.
  • Pick the perfect plate. At a party, size up the plates and glasses and choose the smallest one you can find. If you are the host of the holiday dinner, make sure you have smaller types present.
  • Think about what you drink. Don’t forget about the high caloric content of wine, beer, and mixed drinks. Make sure to have water available.
  • Survey the scene. Check out the food samplings and eat the ones you love and pass on those that don’t tempt or interest you.
  • Remember what the holiday season is truly about. Focus on the spirit of the season – not the food and spirits.

Try our Apple Barley Bake recipe. Perhaps it will become a future holiday favorite!

Weight loss resources:

  • Program for Weight Management  — weekly individual and group sessions lead by a team of expert physicians and dietitians
  • ClimbClub — an organized stair climbing program that helps America’s workforce become more active and puts the fun back into exercise
  • Beat the Holiday Bulge – a free online weight management program
  • Healthy dessert recipes

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