Surviving Holiday Eating

Surviving Holiday Eating Workshop | Catalina Vlad, MS,RD,LD

Goal Setting Step 1

How Important Is Weight Maintenance?

Rate on a scale from 1 to 10 the importance of maintaining your weight over the holidays.

To help you decide consider the following questions:
a. How would you feel if you gained 1-5 lbs over the holidays?
 b. How would you feel if you gained 6-10 lbs over the holidays?
c. How would you feel if you gained over 10 lbs over the holidays?

My Weight Maintenance Importance Rating is: ___________________________________.

Tips for Surviving Holiday Eating
General Tips
1. Focus on activities, not food!  Create new non-food traditions such as caroling, ice skating,
ornament-making and others.  Be sure to make it fun!
2. Be wary of emotional eating during the holidays.
3. Continue exercising as a way to manage stress.
4. Make an eating plan before going to a social engagement.
5. Keep a diet journal throughout the holiday season to help keep you on track with your weight goals. 
Visit for online diet journaling.
6. Avoid skipping meals as it may lead you to overeat at a party.
7. Keep hydrated throughout the day.  Drinking water (non-caloric beverages) will help define the difference
between hunger and thirst and will help moderate what you eat.
8. No "people-pleasing" allowed.  Practice saying "no" beforehand.
Eating at Parties/Social Gatherings
9. Scan the buffet first and make a mental plan of what you'd like to try before loading up your plate with foods
you may not even really want.
10. Start by filling a plate with veggies and salad before going for the entrees and desserts.
11. Beware of overeating the 'healthy' foods at the table or on the buffet. They still have calories so moderation
still comes into play.
12. Use smaller plates. The less you put on your plate the less you can eat, smaller plates will help.
13. Be mindful of all the nibbles, snacks and tastings you eat between meals and during the appetizer time of the party.
14. Sit or stand as far away from the buffet table as you can. The closer you are to the food table the more tempting
it is to go back for more.
15. Before you go back for seconds, wait 10 minutes and then ask yourself if you're still hungry. If you are, go ahead.
16. Serve yourself rather than let someone else do it. That way you are in control of your portion size.
17. Choose your splurges wisely. If you decide to forgo moderation on a treat or dish you really have to have,
cut calories elsewhere or add in some extra activity to your day.
18. After the meal, dance, take a walk around the block a time or two with family or friends, keep moving.
After the party
19. Create to-go packs for your guests. 
20. If you must take leftovers home, take a small amount and only the food items you actually liked.

Tips for Surviving Holiday Eating

The Plate Method

Beverages: Hidden Calories
Opt for non-caloric beverages such as water or unsweetened tea.  Practice moderation with alcoholic
beverages and be sure to include your favorite beverages when creating your party plan.
Beverage Comparison Guide
Beverage  Calories
Alcohol (1.5 fl oz)  110
Wine (6 fl oz)  124
Beer (12 fl oz)  150
Sparkling apple cider (8 fl oz)  150
Eggnog (8 fl oz)       
Recipe Modification
The Principles
When making recipe modifications, begin with one change at a time and test for acceptance.  
Be sure you like the outcome of the modification before you add in a new one.
1. Change/Add Healthy Prep Techniques
• Trimming all visible fat
• Trim all inedible parts from vegetables/fruit, but leave on skin.
• Use only fresh ingredients for optimal nutrition
• Safely store all foods at proper temperatures and locations to avoid food borne illness and cross-contamination
2. Change/Add Healthy Cooking Techniques
• Steaming, Baking, Grilling, Broiling
3. Change an Ingredient by Reducing, Eliminating or Replacing it
• Replace eggs with egg substitute
• Substitute  2-3 tbsp flax seed meal for one egg
• Substitute leaner meats for higher fat ones
• Substitute applesauce or plum butter for one-half butter or margarine in baked items
• Reduced oil or margarine by half and add in coconut oil
• Replace white bleached flour with whole grain, rice, oat or others
4. Add a new ingredient to add flavor
• Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla
• Extracts: almond, coconut, mint, lemon zest
• Add texture: wheat germ, oat bran, berries, grated apples, quince, pears
• Add in vegetable purees to dishes for added texture and nutrition.

Goal Setting Step Two
S.M.A.R.T Goals
Specific—A specific goal will provide answers to the following:
• Who is involved?  
• What exactly do I want to accomplish?
• Where will the action take place?
• When?
• Which conditions are needed to accomplish this goal?
• Why do I want to accomplish this goal?
Measurable—Define goals you can measure. A measurable goal will provide answers to how much
Attainable—Your goal should be something you feel you have a chance at accomplishing.
It may take some effort to reach, of course, but the goal shouldn't be extreme. If you set the bar too high,
you are setting yourself up for failure. Realistic—A realistic goal is one based on your current situation.
How much time do you have to devote to it? Do you have everything you need to enable you to succeed? Is it
flexible enough that it allows for unexpected changes in your routine? Timely—A goal should have a starting
point and an ending point, with enough time in between in which to realistically achieve the goal.

My SMART Goal(s): _______________________________________________________________________________