Thanksgiving is around the corner, and we all know what that means. A holiday feast! As you can imagine, we are getting flooded with questions about how to handle this celebratory spread.

While it’s always good to watch the portion sizes, we wanted to off you some of our favorite strategies that help keep US on track during holiday meals. See how many you can practice this season:

Do not starve yourself during the day up until the meal (to save more calories for the feast). We promise this will backfire! Eat a good breakfast and have a little snack with protein before you go so you are not starving when you are exposed to all the holiday food.23949891_s

Do NOT give in to peer pressure. Resist well meaning friends who may tempt you . . . “have just one drink” or “you must try one of these!” Congratulate yourself for resisting (if that is your choice) and realize that you are taking good care of yourself. If this is an issue for you, check out our Eating to Please article for some great strategies.

Practice conscious eating.  Make sure to taste and appreciate ALL the food you eat.  This includes chewing your food slowly. Sounds simple, but most people in social situations do not do this. If you choose to indulge, take a small piece and savor every bite. Remember – small on serving, long on taste!

Resist the urge to take home unhealthy leftovers.  If the party is at your house – encourage guests to take food home.

If you are not hosting, offer to bring an appetizer such as fresh vegetables and a healthy dip (try this, this, or this).  This way, you are assured there will be something safe to eat. It’s likely that others will appreciate this as well.

If you ARE hosting, here is an opportunity to cook a few healthy but supremely delicious dishes (or tweak some old ones) that prove healthier fare is not boring or bland. Here are a few that could work for holiday time (recipe 1, recipe 2, recipe 3, recipe 4)

Focus on the non-food meaning of Thanksgiving – being grateful. Remember, its not all about the food! Savor the company and your surroundings as much as anything else.

And here is a bonus tip for you: ALWAYS keep this in mind: If you find yourself overindulging, we urge you to ditch the guilt. That means NO beating yourself up or throwing in the towel because you went off track for one day.   It’s what you do the NEXT day that really matters.  Go forward with the knowledge that you are capable of going off track for one day and picking right back up where you started the following day.

Let us know: How do you feel about holiday eating? Share your thoughts!