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Keeping the Holidays Healthy

The holidays are upon us…the time of year when overeating is part of the tradition. But with a little pre-planning and a commitment to staying on course, this holiday season can be a healthier one. Here are some tips to keep you focused.

  1. Be realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Shift your goal from weight loss to weight maintenance during the holidays.
  2. Have a game plan. Dieting through Thanksgiving doesn’t have to leave you feeling deprived. With a little pre-planning, you can have a healthy and happy holiday dinner.
  3. Have doggy bags ready. Send your guests home with those tempting treats that might otherwise live in your fridge.
  4. Eat slowly. It takes 15 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full. Savor your food, drink lots of water and slow down. Water is a dieter’s best friend, helping control your appetite by making you feel fuller faster.
  5. Eat before the party starts. Don’t go to dinner starving. Eat a healthy breakfast and a low-calorie snack before hitting the holiday buffet. You’re less likely to overeat if you’ve got your appetite under control.
  6. No seconds. If you eat slowly and drink plenty of water with your meal, you shouldn’t feel the need to go for seconds.
  7. Avoid finger foods. Nibbling before, during and after the main meal is a recipe for tummy trouble!
  8. Choose white meat. White-meat turkey is one of the best low-fat protein sources for the dieter.
  9. Drink alcohol in moderation. Better yet…stick to water!
  10. Make healthier choices & practice portion control. Fortunately, many holiday staples fit well into a healthy diet. Turkey is a great source of protein, and sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and vitamin A.
  11. Get active. After dinner, take a walk instead of crashing in front of the TV.
  12. Stay on schedule. If you have a workout schedule, don’t let the holidays derail it.
  13. Don’t use exercise as an excuse to indulge. On average, you need to walk one mile to burn about 100 calories (15 minutes at 4 mph). It takes only 2 seconds to consume 100 calories of food.

Above all, remember that the holidays are about more than mashed potatoes…they’re about family and friends. Have a happy and health holiday season!


Christopher S. Grady, MD
Attending Physician, OB/GYN

A native of the Louisville area, Dr. Grady received his undergraduate degree from Translyvania University, then graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School, followed by an OB/GYN residency at the Medical College of Georgia. He provides care for women of all ages, including general and high-risk obstetrics and a wide range of gynecological care. He has three boys and is a member of the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Northside Christian Church