Holiday Eating Tips

​UT Extension nutritionist Betty Greer says adding holiday pounds can be avoided with some careful, healthful habits. 


‘Tis the season to count your calories. While many of us struggle to make mental calculations about our food consumption, Betty Greer, a nutrition specialist with University of Tennessee Extension, says some other techniques can be helpful to those of us trying to prevent holiday weight gain.
Here are Greer’s top ten tips for weight management during the holiday season:

1. When a holiday social event is planned for the evening, do not starve yourself all day. It is ridiculous to starve yourself so you can gorge at the event. This will lower your will-power and lead to overeating so in the long run, you will consume more calories than if you had eaten normally.
2. If it is not a dinner party, then eat dinner before you go. This will prevent hunger and help you make better food choices at the event.
3. Offer to bring an item. Make something really tasty that is also healthy. Most host/hostesses appreciate the offer.
4. Drink lots and lots of water!
5. Try to avoid the alcohol. If you are going to drink make sure that you drink one 8 oz. glass of water for every glass of wine or cocktail you consume.
6. Instead of alcohol, pour some sparkling water into a wine glass and sip on it. That way no one will try to give you a “drink.”
7. At the food table, be reasonable. Fill up on veggies and fruit first. Then go to lean proteins (if available) such as shrimp. Protein will help you resist the fat and sugar-laden foods.
8. Portion control is important all year, but it’s vital when faced with a daunting supply of high-fat and even higher-sugar foods at holiday time. Choose the healthy food choices first to help you resist the temptation of the fattening foods.
9. Reminiscing with relatives is great, but why not bond with them and stay in shape at the same time with a game of touch football or even a long walk around the neighborhood?

10. If you “fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon” at some point, simply go back. It is important to NEVER GIVE UP. Determination is the key to success.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as teh outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels. 


Betty Greer, Professor, UT Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, 865-974-7402,