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5 ways to have holiday treats AND stick with your diet

You can enjoy the holiday treats without blowing your diet. | AP

If you try to eat well throughout the year, when the holidays arrive they often bring with them a bit of worry you’re going to lose all control and gain a crazy amount of weight.

That doesn’t have to happen says Allison Grupski, psychologist at Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Health.

Here are her tips for enjoying the holiday eats without going overboard:

Skipping meals doesn’t help. If you forgo breakfast and lunch, by the time you are arrive at your holiday party you’ll be so hungry any sort of good eating habits will fly out the window. Don’t do that. Eat reasonably throughout the day and you’ll be fine by party time.

Gotta have a plan. Before you get to the festivities, decide what you will have. I do this all the time. If I am going to have dessert, it’s going to be something someone made, not something from a package. That’s why at the holiday dance I just attended, I saved room for my friend Jen’s homemade cake. (Oh yes, it was worth it.)

Wait out the crowd. Don’t join the mad dash for the buffet table. Talk a bit with other partygoers, and then head over. This way you can spend more time making sound food choices without feeling you have to hurry up for those behind you in line.

After-meal strategy. Figure out what you’ll do after you’ve finished your meal so you don’t continue nibbling away. Take your plate away, put a napkin over it, whatever works. I had a friend who always got up and washed her hands after the meal. That signaled to her that eating time was over. Good idea!

Liquids count. Eggnog, wine, Christmas ale, that glass of bubbly. They all have calories. Remember that when you decide what you will be having at any gathering.