Advise Me

Tips For Dieting Around The Holidays

With so many tempting opportunities to indulge in the decadence of the holiday season, we know it can be challenging to stay on track with your health or weight loss goals.

Nicole Hahn, registered dietitian at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, answered some of our questions about how to maintain a healthy diet around the holidays.

Do you recommend any specific diets to your patients (assuming no medical condition)?

I don't necessarily promote "named" or "fad" diets over a generally healthy diet. However, if an individual has found success with a particular plan and it doesn't cause any undue stress, makes them feel good and they can sustain it, I say carry on.

With big family dinners and holiday parties coming up, what are some tips for staying on track with my goals?

Address the long-term plan. Are you trying to maintain your weight or continue with progressive weight loss during the season? If weight loss is still desired, make sure the rate of weight loss is realistic.

Plan for the week! Plan meals, physical activity, work, events and relaxation. If there is a plan in place, you are more likely to stick to your goals. Most days won't stray from the normal routine, so focus on the ones where parties and get-togethers are center stage. Develop a strategy to keep on track with your healthful choices, but also partake in some of the special treats. It can all fit. Everyone is different, so this will look different for everyone.

Offer to bring your own dish. Before any events, find out if you can help by bringing dishes that fit your dietary needs and will appeal to others. There are all kinds of ways to alter a recipe to decrease the fat, salt and sugar content or to increase protein content.

Make water your main beverage of choice.

Do you have any advice for reducing my urge to overeat?

Don't skip meals prior to parties! If you are too hungry, you are more likely to overeat at an event.

Choose a smaller plate. Survey the buffet prior to filling your plate and then prepare your plate based on the best options that meet your needs. Always choose veggies when possible.

For more tips on healthy eating, visit: