Health Watch – Holiday Time: Buffet Strategies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

We're offering holiday survival tips this week on "Healthwatch." The holiday buffet is the enemy of dieters – all that food and the power to serve yourself as much as you want. Nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say there are ways to beat the holiday buffet without feeling like you've missed out on all of those goodies.

First, distinguish between special foods and ordinary foods. If there are a lot of choices on the buffet, pass on foods you can have at any time, like mashed potatoes and gravy. Instead, indulge in your grandmother's special casserole or those candied yams.

Hosts can help their guests feel better about how much they're eating by using smaller serving dishes, plates and glasses. Smaller serving dishes and plates mean guests have to take smaller portions of food. Using tall slender drinking glasses instead of short wide ones means guests won't drink as much because tall glasses hold less liquid.

Next: How do you handle the Santa Claus question?


Dec. 2004