Eat smart this festive season.

Don’t try to diet during this holiday season. Rather set a goal of trying to maintain your weight. Doing this, you will have a much more realistic goal and there would be no need for a New Year's resolution diet. Here are weight managing tips for the festive season:

· Don’t go empty. Before attending parties or family gatherings, eat something small so you don’t arrive ravenous and overeat when you get there.

· Distance yourself. At social gatherings, don’t stand next to food table for long periods of time. It is very easy to mindlessly reach for something during a conversation with friends. You can even suck on a mint to keep yourself from constantly nibbling before the main course.

· Choosing wisely. Don’t eat everything at feasts or family gatherings, choosing only the foods that you love. When you allow yourself to indulge here and there, be sure not to go all out and send yourself over the edge.

· Proper portions. During the festive season, portion sizes can be quite excessive. Keep this in mind when dishing up and be sure to leave room on the plate for vegetables. Wander around to check your options on the table and decide what you really want.

· Take a break. After finishing your meal, wait a couple of minutes before going for seconds. You stomach takes a few minutes to send a signal to your brain to say that it’s getting full. Drink some water, wait 10 minutes and the see if you are still hungry or not, you might realize that you have had enough.

· Alcohol. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and can diminish your ability to control what you eat. Remember, alcohol is packed with calories, rather choose light beers or wine over mixed drinks. Also, drink a glass of water between drinks.

· Move. During the festive season, your calorie intake will most likely increase. It is important for you to get in some form of exercise routine to help burn those calories. Make some time for a morning run or walk.

Additional tips during the festive season:

· Don’t shop hungry! Eat something before you go to the shops so the scent of the corner café doesn’t lure you in.

· Prepare healthy meals and be creative with recipes. Use less butter, cream or other ingredients high in saturated fats. Prepare fish and chicken rather than red meats, and always include vegetables.

· Don’t let a hectic holiday schedule force you to eat fast foods. Be sure to set time aside to prepare healthier meals at home.

Enjoy the festive season and remember, weight management is all about moderation and making healthy decisions.

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