Tips for Sticking to Your Diet During the Holidays

The holidays bring to mind thoughts of family, friends, fun and food. However, each year, millions of Americans struggle to maintain their waistlines during the holidays while surrounded by tempting holiday treats.

With so many social gatherings during this time, it can be difficult to avoid treating yourself when you’re offered good food and drinks. Whether you’re dieting or just trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle, fear not—you can survive the holidays and wake up on Jan. 1 without feeling remorse or guilt. Consider the following tips:

  • Don’t go to a party hungry—Eat before attending a party so you don’t arrive on an empty stomach and devour everything in sight.
  • Eat slowly—Be mindful of every chew. It takes your body 20 minutes to realize when it’s full.
  • Pace yourself when drinking—Alcohol can be dangerous at holiday parties, as overindulgence cannot only cause embarrassment, but also pack on the pounds.
  • Make socializing your top priority—If you’re distracted with conversation, you’ll be occupied and less likely to indulge in food or drinks.
  • Don’t feel pressured to eat leftovers—If you have an abundance of leftovers after hosting a party, don’t feel like you have to eat them just because you don’t want them to go to waste.
  • Practice self-control—For example, allow yourself one plate of food at a party, and promise yourself that you won’t go back for seconds.

According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates, there were 14,700 holiday decorating-related injuries treated in the ER last season.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 234
Total Fat 6 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrates 41 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 167 mg
Total Sugars 10 g

Source: USDA

Curried Squash Stew


  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 large zucchini (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 3 cups butternut squash (chopped)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chickpeas (drained, rinsed)


  1. Heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat and add oil.  Add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.
  2. Add zucchini and curry powder and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes and chickpeas, and cover. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Makes: 4 servings

For more information and helpful links, please download our December 2019 Live Well, Work Well Newsletter.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.