Diet tips for the holidays

To help you survive the seasonal parties without packing on the pounds, Body ‘n’ Soul Wellness Academy’s nutritionists suggest the following diet tips. Here are our recommendations:

1. Hot soup as a first course―especially when it’s broth-based, not cream-based―can help you avoid eating too much during the main course.

2. Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multitasking (whether at home or at a party) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth.

3. Avoid fast-food places that emphasize red in their color schemes. Red has been shown to stimulate the appetite more than many other colors, and many restaurants add it to their decor, in everything from the flowers on the table to the squiggles on the plates.

4. Keep track of what you eat! Maintain a food diary to help you stay committed to your goals during this risky eating period.

5. Zip yourself into your favorite pair of slim-fitting pants once a week and note how they fit. Too tight? Adjust your eating and exercise habits.

6. Eat breakfast. This has been shown to prevent overeating later in the day.

7. Filling your plate with low-calorie items, such as leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, and taking smaller portions of the richer ones. That way, you can eat a larger amount of food for fewer calories and not feel deprived.

8. Eat a sugar free chew gum or mint. When you’ve had enough (and don’t want to eat more), the feeling of a fresh palate can curb additional snacking.

9. Use smaller plates and serving utensils. Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself.

10. Do 10-15 minutes short training. If you don’t have time for your daily four-mile walk, do a few 10- or 15-minute exercise throughout the day.

Michael L. Jackson / Las Vegas