Emerson Dietitians Offer Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season


The holiday season is a time for gathering with family, friends and neighbors and enjoying this festive time of year. These gatherings often include a large meal, an array of desserts and a bevy of sugary beverages. How can you enjoy these ‘comfort and joy’ celebrations while staying healthy and avoiding excess pounds? 

Dietitians with Emerson Hospital’s Center for Weight Loss offer these tips to help you celebrate the season while staying healthy:

  • Use a smaller plate for meals. Choosing a smaller plate makes portions appear larger. 
  • Avoid skipping meals. Going into a holiday meal very hungry makes it difficult to make healthful choices. It also makes it difficult to slow down and allow your brain to recognize when you are full.
  • Make a healthier version of a favorite recipe. Substitute lower calorie alternatives in place of higher calorie ingredients. 
  • Stay hydrated with low-calorie beverages, such as flavored seltzer. Sometimes we can confuse thirst for hunger. Try to avoid drinking your calories.
  • Plan ahead. Whether you are a guest or the host, take a moment before eating to survey all of the food options before filling up your plate.
  • Make time for exercise. Do family activities that get everyone moving. Some examples include: Take a walk through the neighborhood or in local parks or woods, rake leaves or shovel snow together, or register for a local 5k – there are some fun ones around the holidays that support charities.
Sarah Powers, MS, RD, LDN and Jillian Saffie MS, RD, LDN are registered dietitians with Emerson Hospital’s Center for Weight Loss and provided these tips. For more information, please visit www.emersonhospital.org/weightloss or call 978-287-3532.