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Holiday Food and Health Tip #4:Use strategies to control portion size

Posted 1/10/2008

If you’d like to avoid holiday weight gain, trimming portions will keep you on track. We know that many traditional holiday foods pack a lot of calories in a small serving. For example, every 1-inch cube of cheese, fudge or prime rib gives you about 100 calories. So, controlling the portions you eat of such foods can pay off in big calorie savings.

Use these strategies during the holidays, as well as throughout the New Year, to help you keep portions and calories under control:

  • Choose smaller plates and bowls.
  • Put a modest serving on a plate or in a bowl and really savor the food. Don’t eat mindlessly out of the cookie tin or the can of nuts.
  • Downsize high calorie-liquids, such as eggnog, sodas, flavored coffee drinks, alcohol and juice drinks. Limit how often you indulge in them.
  • Share a meal or treat with a friend, or order an appetizer-sized portion when eating out.
  • Slow down. Breathe between bites or put the fork down to allow time for the belly to tell the brain it’s feeling full.
  • Check out all the holiday party food options before you put food on your plate. Be selective.
  • Eat an apple or bowl of vegetable soup before a meal or party to make it easier to be satisfied with smaller portions.

For more information on healthy eating and cooking, contact your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Kerry Seymour is a nutrition specialist and registered dietitian with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

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