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Avoid Overeating as You Enjoy the Holidays

If a traditional Thanksgiving dinner leaves you feeling more stuffed than the turkey, there are other ways to go. You don't necessarily have to gain weight to enjoy yourself over the holidays.

Dr. Lou Aronne is the author of "Weigh Less, Live Longer." He has drawn up a list of things to keep in mind to reduce your chances of gaining those unwanted pounds over the holidays. It may not be as simple as saying to yourself that you won't fall back into your old eating pattern. Dr. Aronne suggests you also must have a plan. "When you go to somebody's house to have dinner, know what you're going to have," says Dr. Aronne. "You don't have to just get there and have an eating binge. Plan to eat the healthy things first and then have a little bit of the tastier stuff."

When it comes to desserts and carbohydrates, Dr. Aronne suggests that you have a little if you can. Keep in mind that if you're known to binge on something like cake, simply don't have the cake.

Also, if you're a going to someone's house for dinner, don't starve yourself beforehand so you're not feeling deprived. "Have a little bit of something so you're not starving when you get there, Dr. Aronne says. You can also start with a low calorie food.

Another way to avoid overeating is to keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. "What happens, when you drink too much alcohol, not only does it increase your appetite it makes you lose your inhibition," says Dr. Aronne. "You may go there with a good feeling about what you're going to eat and when you get there, everything falls apart. You forget your eating plan."

Relatives may encourage you to try their delicious desserts, but don't give in to the peer pressure. Find a diet buddy and avoid the irresistible foods. "Everybody has some food they can't stop eating", says Dr. Aronne. "If you can eat a little bit of something, that's fine. If this is something where once you start, you can't stop, the best thing to do is avoid it." Some people like to taste a little of everything. If you're somebody who can do that, Dr. Aronne says it's okay. Keep in mind that a little bit of everything can add up to a lot.

Finally, Dr. Aronne says if you allow yourself a little excess, don't beat yourself up about it. Instead of wallowing in the guilt, increase your physical activity to burn off the extra calories.

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