5. Be realistic. Maintaining your weight is more realistic than weight loss during the holiday season. Set goals that are attainable.
6. Think portion control—not deprivation. Any food can fit into a healthy meal plan as long as you are able to eat reasonable portions. Fill up on reasonable portions of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables (nutrient-rich foods) at each meal.
7. Wait at least 20 minutes before having a dessert. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to "signal" your brain that you are full. Give your body time to determine exactly how hungry you really are and what you are in the mood for. If you decide to have dessert, take a reasonable portion. Sit down and enjoy it--pay attention to the aroma and texture, savor each mouthful by taking smaller bites. Truly enjoy the experience. This will make the dessert last longer and reduce your desire for more.
8. If you do have a setback such as, overindulging at a holiday party, don't despair and don't give up. One time will not lead to weight gain. Reduce your intake at your next few meals, but DO NOT skip meals. Eat more fruits and vegetables and be a little more active.
9. And, finally, have a different mindset this holiday season—enjoy your family and friends' company first and the food as a pleasant accompaniment. People, not food, make the holidays a joyous time.
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