The holiday season is a dangerous time for people who are trying to eat healthy and lose weight. A multitude of delicious desserts, side dishes and other foods are paraded in front of you, but it feels like you have to abstain from most of them. However, it's often this restriction that leads to binge eating an overload of holiday food. Instead of torturing yourself during holiday meals, plan ahead and use these tips to enjoy all of your favorite foods while staying on track with your health plan:

Google Logo
Avoid the holiday food overload with these helpful tips.

Avoid off-limit labels
When you're trying to lose weight, it seems like you have to designate sweets and other high-calorie items as "off-limits." Unfortunately, this plan never seems to last. Instead, you find yourself caving and cutting a giant slice of that apple pie and shoveling on a side of ice cream. As mentioned before, restricting yourself usually leads to binge eating the very foods you were trying to avoid.

This holiday season, refrain from sticking a restricted label onto unhealthy foods. You might be trying to lose weight, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy those tasty holiday dishes. What you need to do is simply minimize your proportions. For instance, pies tend to get cut into six slices. Use your knife to cut one of these slices in half and only consume your smaller slice. You can savor the scrumptious filling without feeling guilty about your portion size.

Young woman holding an apple in one hand and a piece of chocolate cake in the other. Don't restrict yourself this holiday season, and instead, indulge in all of your favorite treats.

Use smaller dishes
It's often considered wasteful to leave food on your plate. You might feel bad throwing things away, so instead of stopping when you're full, you force yourself to consume the rest of the items on your plate. This is not a healthy practice, so if you feel guilty about leaving food on your plate, it's better to simply put it in a plastic container and save it for later.

Another way to avoid taking too much food during a meal is to use smaller dishes. When you pile food onto a large plate, it doesn't seem like as much since the dish is so wide. However, this is an easy way to take proportions that are much too big. Don't fall into this trap during the holidays, and instead, switch out your regular plates for smaller versions. You won't be able to serve yourself as much food, which will help you pace yourself and eat less.

Snack throughout the day
It's common practice not to eat much during the day when you're expecting a big holiday meal. You're anticipating all the food you're going to eat, so you figure you need to consume less for the first part of the day. This idea tends to backfire, though, because by the time dinner is served, you're starving. Instead of eating reasonable helpings, your hunger wins out and you gorge yourself on the delectable dishes.

Avert this overeating by snacking throughout the day. You might think this is counterintuitive when you're trying to lose weight. "How can I lose weight when I'm eating all the time?" is a question you might have. Well, with the Food Lovers Fat Loss System, you're actually supposed to snack every two to three hours. This can help you lose weight because it keeps your metabolism working and burning fat all day long. You also won't be starving when the meal is served, so you won't binge on all of the food choices.

So, nibble off the relish tray throughout the day to keep yourself from being overly hungry when dinner finally rolls around.

Woman eating a parfait. Keep snacking throughout the day to avoid binge eating during your holiday meal.

Move the food
Set up a holiday buffet line this year instead of laying the food out on the table. It might not seem like the food is very far away, but you'll be more conscious of your choice to serve seconds if you have to get up from your chair.

You could also wait to cook dessert until after the meal is over. This will give you an hour or two to let your stomach settle before you dig into pies and cake. By the time the treats are done, you won't feel as full from your meal and you'll be satisfied with a sliver of the dessert.

Enjoy the company!
You'll probably be celebrating the holiday season with friends and family, so use this company to your advantage. Start a conversation during the meal. Talking while you eat will help you consume food slower and give your brain time to register that your body is full. Eating quickly will make you feel like you still have room in your stomach for more food, so you'll get up for seconds. Let yourself slow down and really enjoy the food by breaking up bites with snips of conversation.

When you've finished eating your first serving, sit at the table and continue talking for 15 to 20 minutes. If you're still feeling peckish after this time, help yourself to some dessert or a smaller second helping of your favorite low-calorie dishes, like seasoned green beans or sweet potatoes.

If you follow these tips this joyful season, you're sure to avoid the holiday weight gain. 

New Call-to-action