The One Thing Top Nutrition Experts Do to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Lindsey Joe, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

My one rule: Eat what you love, leave what you like.

Instead of piling your plate a mile high with things that don’t really tantalize your taste buds (fruit cake, we’re looking at you!), pick only the foods that give you true enjoyment. If something doesn’t make you swoon, leave it on the sideline.

Erica Giovinazzo, R.D., Head Coach and Nutritionist at Brick CrossFit and ​BodyChange Dietitian

My one rule: Keep your treats to one day a week.

The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a four-day feast instead of a one-day indulgence. Then the holiday parties come, and all of a sudden you’re giving yourself an excuse to have treats nearly every day. Rather than letting your holiday feast roll into pie for breakfast, limit your splurges to one event per week.

Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group

My one rule: Nix the guilt.

Feeling guilty after eating foods you don’t usually allow yourself to eat can breed more unhealthy behaviors. So abandon those negative voices in your head, give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence guilt-free, and then remember to get back on track with your normal eating routine the very next day.

Justin Robinson, Registered Dietitian

My one rule: Don’t eat something just because it’s holiday food.

Listen to your body; most people eat particular foods like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or down cups of eggnog at a Christmas party because “that’s what we do during the holidays.” Noshing without thinking about what you’re putting into your body and why makes you ignore your internal cues of hunger and satiety. Do you really even like pumpkin pie or eggnog? Or if you could have any treat, would you choose your favorite ice cream or hot cocoa instead? Just because it’s limited doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Deborah Orlick Levy, R.D., Carrington Farms Health and Nutrition Consultant

My one rule: Eat low to high (when it comes to calories).

Start with a broth-based soup or salad, then move on to lean protein, and by the time you reach those triple-fudge brownies, a few bites will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Teresa LaMasters, M.D., Weight-Loss Specialist at UnityPoint Clinic, Des Moines

My one rule: Alternate your bubbly with sparkling water.

On average most adults consume almost 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. Since avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether may be hard during this time of merriment, alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a zero-calorie sparkler can help you avoid pouring on the pounds. Plus sparkling water keeps things festive, and, bonus, you’ll avoid entering the hangover zone, a not-so-happy holiday tradition.

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