Skipping meals on days of celebration or any other day can negatively affect the outcome as the day comes to an end. It is important to remember that our bodies require regular nutrition daily to prevent overeating and overcompensating later in the day. Without providing regular nourishment early in the day, this can cause overconsumption of calories, resulting in poor mealtime choices and can contribute to feeling uncomfortable following the meal, which often leads to regret.

Here are a few tips for making healthy choices on holiday days while saving room for all of your favorites.

Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
Include a whole grain, protein source, and a fruit. This practice will help jump-start your metabolism and keep the calories burning. This trick also helps prevent overeating as the day goes on.

Take a few minutes during the day to get some physical activity.
Take a walk with family, try an on-line workout, or do some yoga. Doing so will help you burn some calories early in the day, which also helps keep your metabolism running.

Prepare something you feel good about eating. Whether or not it is a salad, side dish, or entrée, make substitutions to the recipes to provide you with a healthy choice during the day. You can feel guilt-free by adding this option to your plate.

Drink plenty of water during the day. Feelings of thirst can often be misinterpreted as feelings of hunger. Staying hydrated can help keep overeating at bay.

Before filling your plate, assess all of the available options, and choose wisely.
Choose fruits or vegetables, lean protein, and then add things to your plate that are “must-haves” or something you only indulge in yearly. Leave out the items you do not love. Do not feel obligated to try everything; no one will notice if you don’t.

Try avoiding seconds
If you MUST go back for more, wait at least 20 minutes before refilling your plate and choose wisely.

If you drink alcohol, make smart choices.
Alcoholic beverages contain calories but offer no other nutrient benefits. Drinks like eggnog and craft beers pack a considerable punch in the calorie department; instead, a wine spritzer, light beer, or seltzer is a smarter choice.

If you are a dessert person, work on serving sizes.
It is ok to have something sweet but be aware of how full your plate is.  Three bites can provide complete satisfaction when eating dessert. Try to follow the three-bite rule and remember that everything in moderation is the key, and dessert is no exception.

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