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  • Writer's pictureEloise Palmateer

Curbing Cravings in the Holiday Season

5 Tips for healthy eating in tricky situations

‘Tis the season of overeating. The holidays are here and so are the pies, brownies, cakes, and cheese plates, galore. From Halloween candy in the office to cookie platters at parties, it’s no wonder the average American gains a few pounds over the holiday months.


It is difficult to put a number on the average weight Americans gain over the holidays with reports in the media suggesting anywhere from one to ten pounds. What is more important than how much weight is gained, however, is how difficult it is to shed these extra pounds in the aftermath. For many people it ends up accumulating over the years and never comes off.


Healthy eating is a choice, and although it can be difficult to resist temptations, you are the only one who controls what food goes into your body. Here are some tips for kicking unhealthy food cravings to the curb during work parties, family gatherings, and even just at home during the holidays:

  1. Drink Water! When you find yourself hovering around the dessert table, try drinking a tall glass of water and waiting ten minutes before making a move on the cheesecake. The feeling of fullness in your stomach will help you reassess whether you are actually hungry, or if you were just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.

  2. BYOG – Bring your own Goodies. There are countless recipes on the internet for healthy holiday treats that allow you to indulge guilt-free. Your family, friends, and coworkers will thank you as well!

  3. Fuel up First. Showing up to a party hungry is risky business. By filling up on a healthy meal high in protein and fiber ahead of time you will feel less tempted to descend on the dessert table. 

  4. Easy on the Sugar. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest limiting added sugars to less than ten percent of your total daily caloric intake. For most women that is about 25 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar or less, and 36 grams (nine teaspoons) or less for men. To put this into perspective, one Starbucks chocolate chip cookie contains 27 grams of sugar. Yikes!

  5. Set a Limit. When going to an event where you know you will be surrounded by sugar and fat-laden temptations, plan ahead by setting a limit for yourself – say, two helpings of dessert.

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