Holiday Feasting: One Helping or Two?

December 2018

Letter from the Medical Director

Say “the holidays” to just about anyone and one of the first things that will come to mind is the food. Lots of food, food you wait all year to enjoy. While celebrations this time of year definitely involve delicious treats, it’s easy to forget about calories. According to the Calorie Control Council, on average we take in about 4,500 calories at a holiday gathering (just one slice of pecan pie can equal 500 calories). Yikes!

It’s OK to indulge, but remember: It’s a holiday, not a holi-week. With planning, you can enjoy that meal and be satisfied with less.

Here are some tips to help you maintain control, courtesy of

Consider using smaller plates
If your special set of china has been in the family a couple of generations, size might be more manageable. If your fancy dishes are new, chances are they’re bigger. A true serving can look lonesome on a huge plate. Here’s a better idea: Opt for the salad plate for dinner and put three items on it at a time, making sure you can still your plate under the food.

Step away from the food
If you find yourself standing near the food table at a gathering, inch away quickly. Your proximity to food means you might indulge too much without giving it much thought.

Fiber is your friend
Holidays are synonymous with carbohydrate-loaded treats, but to stay satisfied and help control blood sugar, you need to fill up on fiber. Enjoy baked sweet potatoes instead of traditional mashed potatoes; serve 100 percent whole-grain bread instead of rolls. Beans, cooked greens and lentils also are fiber-rich foods you can incorporate in the menu.

Extras can add up
Sauces, gravy and toppings can sneak in unnecessary calories. Use them sparingly if at all.

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