Last month, we had a few tips to help you eat a little healthier during Thanksgiving. This month, we have a few more tips to avoid overindulging during the rest of the holiday season. For some families, the holiday season is the only time of the year they see one another. Relatives come from around the country, some nearer, some farther, to catch up, spend time together, and most importantly, eat!

But it’s no secret that a holiday meal can deliver a lot of calories. The Calorie Control Council, a group that represents the low-cal food industry, estimates that the average holiday dinner serving can easily surpass 2,000 calories in one sitting. How can you continue to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without having to worry about the after-dinner consequences?

Skip the snacks — but not breakfast. It’s not uncommon for people anticipating a big dinner to skip breakfast. They think it will cut down on unwanted calories (and guilt). Here’s the problem: When you skip breakfast, you will be much hungrier later. This leads to overeating and excessive snacking. Basically, when you skip breakfast, you are more likely to think with your stomach, not your brain, once dinner rolls around.

Enjoy the meal — and the company. Take time to savor each bite. Eating with deliberation and at a slower pace while indulging in conversation can do wonders for your post-dinner waistline. As pointed out by Harvard Medical School research, slow eating gives your body a chance to feel full without eating too much.

Fool your mind — not your taste buds. Eat less by using a smaller plate. As you pile your food on your plate, it will only hold so much, preventing yourself from inadvertently eating a lot more than you needed to. Also, use smaller utensils to serve food. One Cornell University study found that when people served themselves with a larger serving spoon, they plated a much larger portion. This led them to eating 57% more than when they served themselves with a smaller spoon.

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