Magazine article USA TODAY

'Tis the Season to Be Tempted

Magazine article USA TODAY

'Tis the Season to Be Tempted

Article excerpt

If you are tempted by festive parties and treats lurking around the office cooler this season, a University of Iowa, Iowa City, heart care specialist has suggestions that can help you cut down on calories or balance them with exercise during the holidays.

There are several strategies for making your way around the buffet table at the office party or family gathering, maintains Amy Lukas, a dietitian with the Cardiovascular Health, Assessment, Management and Prevention Service.

You can better resist holiday fare with a little preparation. For one, do not skip meals. "Have your lower-calorie meal earlier in the day, but don't starve yourself because then you're bound to overdo it at the party," Lukas advises. Also, consider the connection between what you wear and what you eat. "You can wear clothes that are close-fitting so that when you eat enough you feel it--and stop."

When preparing your own potluck contribution, consider making eye-appealing fruit kabobs or try a low-fat recipe from a light-cooking magazine. Lukas also suggests preparing something with an ingredient you do not like. (Of course, that does not mean the dish should be unappealing to everyone.)

Once at the buffet, try these strategies: avoid creamy and cheesy dishes; go for plain veggies with a touch of dip; use the smallest plate available or eat only what you can hold in a cocktail napkin; do not stand next to the snack table; and, if you choose to have alcohol, balance those drinks with diet soda or water in between. …

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