KODE — With holiday parties and festive family meals, putting on a few pounds can be a risk this time of year.
But a few tweaks to your plates can minimize the risk.

“I think that if you are overly restricting yourself or trying to look at food as a reward or punishment, then it can actually do long-term damage on your efforts toward weight loss,” said Shannon Linder, Reg. Dietitian.

So, Linder points to positive strategies to balance holiday eating with a healthy lifestyle.

“Moderation is the biggest part of making healthy choices. Your everyday choices are really what matters. So some people will need a little bit of extra help with the portion control side of things,” said Linder.

She recommends paying extra attention to the foods they’re choosing.

“The plate method is a good way to try to fill your plate with half vegetables, a quarter of a lean protein, and a quarter of a starch and that helps you make a healthier plate as possible and that helps with weight efforts,” she added.

You can make a healthy menu swap, using Greek yogurt for a dip base, or applesauce in certain baked goods. And don’t forget to watch what you’re drinking as well.

“Be moderate with alcohol that’s helpful. Women, it’s recommended to not have more than one alcoholic beverage today. You can even do a spritzer and add half your wine with sparkling water. For men, it’s recommended to limit alcohol to two drinks a day.”

She says it’s not necessary to completely avoid any one dish or drink but to be thoughtful about your overall diet.

“You might try to choose foods that are good sources of protein, vegetables, lots of fiber. And you know, try to keep moderation in mind but the day itself, we want people to enjoy themselves,” Linder said.