By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — ‘Tis the season for celebrating and overeating. If you’re dieting, staying on track during the holidays is not easy. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has ways to celebrate without feeling guilty.
It’s the season to eat, drink and be merry with all the holiday parties and family get-togethers. Most people gain a few pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, but experts say there are a few tricks to help prevent that.
Holiday treats are hard to resist. It’s a tricky time for Alison Victor, who’s getting married. She’s lost ten pounds and doesn’t want to gain it back over the holidays.
“There’s a lot of temptation. It’s really hard to not have that cookie or that piece of pie,” said Alison.
Alison’s nutritionist, Robin Kaiden, advises dieters to trim back on trimmings — things like gravy, cream and butter — that are loaded with calories. Instead of having a little bite of every food, pick a few favorites.
“If you have many different tastes, and many different things on your plate, you’re going to want more of it,” said Robin.
To prevent overeating, experts recommend a handful of nuts or half a banana before a holiday party.
“Protein, fat and fiber take longer to digest, so it will last you throughout the party,” said Robin.
And spreading good cheer with an extra beer, or other alcohol, can pack on extra holiday pounds.
Plus, “Alcohol decreases inhibitions. If you’re watching what you’re eating, you don’t want to drink too much — your inhibition goes down and you’re completely off the plan,” Robin advised.
Alison has a winning strategy for sweets, her biggest holiday challenge.
“I still have a tiny taste, so I don’t feel deprived,” she explained.
And Robin says don’t beat yourself up if you have one bad night; just try to be healthy the next day. Also, don’t skip meals, thinking you’ll save all your calories for the big party.