First, the good news: Despite the ubiquitousness of chocolate candy and gingerbread, pumpkin pie and sugar-glazed ham, Americans don’t gain that much weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, the average person gains a little less than a pound in those six or so weeks of gluttony.
But if you’d like to keep your waistline right where it is—or at least, not exceed the national average in weight gain—try these healthy eating tips when you’re party-hopping:
1. Eat the best-for-you offerings first. For example, hot soup as a first course―especially when it’s broth-based, not cream-based―can help you avoid eating too much during the main course.
2. Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you’re not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.
3. Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multitasking (whether at home or at a party) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth. So set your food down (or if you’re sitting, put down your fork) until you’re finished chatting so you are more aware of what you’re taking in.
Get more tips for eating well on the go.