Tips for battling the bulge this holiday season


JOHNSON CITY (December 9, 2014) – With the holiday season upon us, many people are trying to avoid the after-holiday bulge by making smart nutrition choices now. But that can be challenging with all those additional social gatherings and extra desserts readily available throughout the remainder of the month.

Eileen Cress, a registered dietitian and assistant professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences in East Tennessee State University’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, offers these tips to help you battle the bulge this season:

  • Drink a glass of water before eating a holiday meal;
  • Use smaller plates at meal time;
  • Eat mindfully. Be aware of what you are eating and don’t eat unless you are hungry;
  • Fill half of your plate with vegetables and salad, and skip the high-fat dips and toppings;
  • Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes to feel full. Slowing down will help you eat less;
  • Skip the “up-sizing” at fast food restaurants and choose grilled over fried when possible;
  • When eating out, share an entrée with a friend or ask for a to-go box and eat half, saving the rest for another meal;
  • Portion out small servings of high-calorie foods in a separate container and store leftovers for another time or share with a friend;
  • Try to allow yourself no more than one small, high-calorie indulgence per day. Eat it slowly while savoring the taste;
  • Substitute lower calorie ingredients in favorite recipes;
  • Swap chips and dip with veggies and low-fat dip, or use baked chips and salsa for a lower calorie and healthier option;
  • If you have to taste everything, choose small bites of each item.

For more information about the nutrition and dietetics program at ETSU, call 423-547-4900 or visit

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