COLUMBUS, Miss. – The holiday season usually means family, friends and lots of food. Amanda Dahl, instructor of nutrition at Mississippi University for Women, shares tips on how to avoid overeating during the holidays.

 “Be mindful of portion control. That’s really one of the biggest factors. You can still enjoy the foods that you really like, but just try to watch the portion,” she explained, noting that she does not like to put foods in a bad category.

Dahl said foods high in calories, fat and sugar should be eaten in moderation.

A tip she shared was scanning the buffet before you get ready to eat. Pick out what you really want before you start piling up your plate from the beginning of the line and work your way to the end.

“Before the big meal have a glass of water, if you know you’re getting ready to go to a holiday party. For instance, maybe have a small snack, like an apple or something,” Dahl said, explaining that this will help avoid overeating after a long day.

In addition, Dahl said being mindful of what you want to can help with controlling portions. Finger foods can help in this area.

“They are built in portion control. It’s bite size so it is good that you can sample things,” Dahl said. “It’s when you get too many of those finger foods that you lose the portion control.”

She also offered advice to picky eaters, who find it hard to find things that they like at the holiday buffet.

“Just because you tried it one time and you didn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s off limits. Food tastes differently when it’s prepared differently. Mashed potatoes will taste different from roasted potatoes and texturally there is going to be a difference. Don’t discount a food just because you tried it once and didn’t like it. Try to be open minded.”

Dahl also encouraged staying active with family and friends to help burn calories.

Dec. 20, 2017
Contact: Tara Baucom
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