Holiday Survival Guide (10 Tips for Surviving the All-You-Can-Eat Holiday Season)

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Here's 10 tips on how to survive the holidays

1. Drink water. Drink plenty of water. Have a glass of water 30 minutes before you start nibbling and make sure to always have a glass of water in your hand. Try to take small sips of water between bites, if possible. This helps slow you down and eat less.

2. Grab the smallest plate. Load up the small “salad” plates as opposed to the much larger“dinner” plate. Not only will you be physically limiting to how much you can pile on your plate (thereby saving lots of calories!), it's also a mind trick: You'll feel sad and deprived if you have a little bit of food lost on a big plate – but you'll feel like a king when food is overflowing on the smaller plate.

3. Survey. Before you fill your plate, survey the options and choose what you're going to eat, then take small helpings of those foods. Aimlessly walking down the buffet line, or taking something from every bowl that's around you means you'll put more on your plate, and end up eating foods you may not really want. Choose foods you really, really want only!

4. Think COLOR. Brightly colored foods (a.k.a. the vegetables and fruits) tend to have the most water and fiber (thereby making you feel full and satisfied) so go for those first (and load up!), skipping over white, beige and brown foods or only taking a tiny portion of them. Also, skip over foods you can have anytime. Why waste your calories on mayo-loaded "white" pasta salad when you can have healthy, whole-wheat and low fat pasta salad at home tomorrow?

5. Keep over flow off the table and don't sit by the buffet line. Family-style dining always leads to over eating so don't leave all the food on the table! Have a serving station elsewhere instead. If you have to get up and go to the kitchen or another table to get seconds, chances are you won't. However, if an array of food is just an arms reach away, you'll keep eating. And eating. And eating.

6. CHEW. Put the fork down between bites and chew! I suggest chewing 10-20 times per bite, maybe more. Chewing burns calories and it slows you down, which helps prevent overeating. It also makes for better digestion!

7. Put a napkin on it. As soon as you start to feel full, put your napkin on your plate. Or, if possible, clear your plate away from the table or your hands. It's totally okay to sit at the table or socialize and not eat even if everyone else is still eating.

8. Resist Peer Pressure. Anytime someone tries to get you to eat something you normally wouldn't eat, or tries to get you to eat more (even in a loving way) know that chances are, it's not about you, but them. They're feeling guilty about their own consumption and getting you to join the crowd helps them justify and feel better about themselves. Don't help them, help yourself.

9. Drink OR Dessert (not both). Have a cocktail or have a decadent dessert, but don't have both. And don't have seconds – on either! Sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice or other fruit juice is a great, low cal alternative to booze!

10. Holidays are about more than just food, and while eating with abandon could be fun, it won't leave you feeling the most fulfilled. Celebrate the holiday the company of good friends and family by enjoying your time together and socializing.

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