Holidays are great for fun, fellowship and good food with family and friends….but sometimes the good times come with a few extra pounds of padding around our middle.

Have the fun, enjoy the food and fellowship, but skip the extra padding!

Exercise every day for both physical and mental health! 

  • Walk during breaks at work.
  • Get to the gym a couple times a week.
  • Clean house, work in the yard.
  • Go caroling with a church group
  • Play in the snow (if it ever comes!).
  • Go ice skating with friends.
  • Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter or Community Kitchen

Increase your veggies and fruits.

  • Make your meals festive with lots of colorful vegetables and fresh fruits.
  • Contribute a veggie or fruit plate to social gatherings

Avoid liquid calories!

  • Limit alcoholic or sugary drinks to one per party, then switch to sparkling water or sugar free soda

Start each day off with breakfast.

  • Include complex carbohydrates (e.g., whole grain bread or cereal) fruit and protein (milk, nuts, egg or lean meat/fish)
  • Research shows that people who eat breakfast eat fewer calories over the whole day!

Make lunches and dinners filling and nutritious with fewer calories.

  • Try broth based soups with beans and veggies
  • Roast veggies and mushrooms in the pan with your meat, poultry or fish (you’ll feel satisfied with a smaller serving of meat)
  • Add chicken or vegetable broth to small amounts of leftovers to make a satisfying soup for lunch.

A Guide to Liquid Calories—a hidden source of excess

  • 5 ounces dry table wine: 110 calories,
  • 12 ounce beer: 150-200 calories (darker beers are higher in calories),
  • 12 ounce “lite beer”: 100 calories.
  • 1 ½ ounce hard liquor: 105 calories
  • 1 ½ ounce liqueur: 150 to 190 calories.
  • One shot gin + 8 ounces of tonic water: 200 calories
  • 6 to 8 ounce sweet cocktails (e.g. pina-colada: 500-600 calories
  • 12 ounce regular soda: 150 calories
  • 12 oz of 100% fruit juice: 165 calories (orange juice) to 250 calories (Cranberry grape juice).

Low calorie festive drinks:

  • Sparkling water with fruited ice cubes: Freeze pureed fruit or juice in ice-cube trays with 1 raspberry or blueberry in each cube. Put 4 to 5 fruited ice-cubes in a glass and fill with sparkling water: 40-60 calories.
  • Sparkling water with a twist of lime, lemon or orange: 5-10 calories
  • ¼ cup orange juice + ¾ cup sparkling water: 38 calories
  • Gin and Tonic made with sugar free Tonic water: 105 calories
  • Wine Spritzer made with 2 to 3 ounces wine and sparkling water or sugar free 7-Up: 44 to 66 calories
  • 2 ounces fruit juice, mixed with 6 ounces Sugar Free 7-Up or Sugar Free Tonic Water: 28 to 42 calories

Lori is available for private and group nutrition consultation both in her Bend, Oregon office and online. Contact her at for more information

Lori, with Sue Schumann Warner has written Healthy Choices, Healthy Children, a guide to raising fit, happy kids, published by Paraclete Press, October, 2011. Available  on, Barnes and Noble and from booksellers everywhere.