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Candied yams. Turkey gravy. Grandma’s famous pecan pie. You’ve been looking forward to it all year. And if you’re like many of us, it’s hard not to overindulge. It’s tough when the holidays are a time where such great food surrounds so many of our gatherings. And though we’d never suggest you decline grandma’s famous pecan pie, we hope a few tips might help to ensure you enjoy the holiday smorgasbord without overdoing it.

Make a plan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [1] state “you may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re bound to see other people eating a lot of tempting treats,” but if you make a plan and then follow these tips, you’ll be more likely to eat in moderation:

  • Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
  • Invited to a party? Offer to bring a healthy dish along.
  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to keep your blood sugar in control, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.

Make it count

You’re going to like this one: Rather than saying no, “slow down and savor a small serving.” [1] If you’ve been looking forward to your favorite pie all year, have a small piece and enjoy it. Just limit yourself from going back for seconds, or thirds.

Make room for fruits and veggies

It’s tempting not to fill your plate with all the goodies. But don’t forget about the staples: fruits and veggies. And if you’re the host, how you prepare your fruits and veggies can make a big difference. “Most fruits and veggies are low-calorie and will fill you up, but the way you prepare them can change that. Try steaming vegetables and using spices and low-fat sauces for flavor. And enjoy the natural sweetness of raw fruit.” [2]

Make an exercise plan

It’s easy to sit around and enjoy great food, but don’t forget to add a dash of exercise to your holiday season. Get outside. Take a walk. Join in on that neighborhood Turkey Bowl. Encourage your friends and family to join you. Not only is it good for your health, but it can be fun.



  1. https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesmanagement/index.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyresolutions/index.html