Holiday eating: how you can survive

Holiday feasts are coming on strong, kicking off with Halloween. (What? You never had a huge pre-trick or treating meal?)

While Halloween might mark the beginning of a winter of eating, it is also the start of packing on the pounds. And it might be tempting to shove your face with food, there are a couple of ways to avoid the pounds without a lack of flavor in your meal.Don’t think it is indulging whenever you want is that big of a deal? Then you should definitely get good family health insurance to help pay for your medical costs.

Here are a few sneaky tricks to still enjoy your holiday meals without packing on the extra calories and pounds.

1. Hold off on the rolls. Ok, this is really an unrealistic expectation. I love rolls and would never pass up. So indulge. But only take one roll. And do you love butter and jam on your roll? (Really, who doesn’t?) Ditch the butter. If you smother your roll in jam you won’t even notice. Trust me.

2. Be picky about your meat. Turkey is the bird of choice during the winter season. But not all turkey meat is not made equal. Dark meat, while delicious and moist, is more calories and at than the white part. Swap out some of the dark for white and only eat a small helping and you can shave off 250 calories from your meal. And ditch the skin. That is the fattiest part.

3. Switch out fatty toppings. Love sweet potatoes? Ditch the butter and marshmallows (which are full of fat and sugar) for a bit of cinnamon or ginger. Those spices will add in loads of flavor but ditch the extra calories.

4. Gravy, while delicious, is another calorie hog. But if you are like me, there is no way to avoid gravy. So do not deny yourself. Just limit your intake. A few tablespoons should be enough to create a volcano in your mash potatoes and to moisten your turkey.

5. Do not come starving. Sure, it would seem counter intuitive to eat before you go to a big meal but it is not a bad idea. No, I am not thinking you should eat a full meal but it is important to not go to Thanksgiving dinner starving. When I am starved before a meal, it is all I can do to not stuff my face with every piece of food in sight. If you eat too quickly like you often do when you are famished, your stomach will not have enough time to send messages to your brain telling you it is full. And that, my friends, is how you overeat. Make sure you eat a bit before you come, chew slowly and listen to what your body tells you. If you are not hungry anymore then you can stop. No need to eat until you can’t walk out the door.

6. Ditch the extra cocktails. If you must, only stick to one drink. Any additional drinks add on extra calories and will force you to find a designated driver to get home.