top of page

Holiday Eating Myths and Facts

It’s normal to eat foods during the holiday season that you don’t typically eat. After all, the holidays are a special time to eat, drink and be merry! If you overindulge once or twice during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and the new year, it should not affect your weight or health. However, If you party every weekend during the holidays, you could get into some trouble! Below are some myths and facts that will help get you through the holiday eating season:


Myth 1:

Skipping meals before a holiday party is a good way to save calories.

Fact 1:

Instead of starving yourself to prepare for an event, try to eat your normal meals and snacks leading up to parties and holiday dinners. By not being super hungry when you arrive at your event, you’ll be less likely to overeat and make poor food choices.


Myth 2:

Certain foods should be off limits during the holidays.

Fact 2:

During the holidays, allow yourself your favorite foods as long as it is done in moderation.  Consider filling half your plate with veggies, a quarter of your plate with lean protein, and the last quarter of your plate with your favorite foods.  Also, if you want to have dessert, go ahead, but keep the 3-bite rule in mind. The 3-bite rule breaks down to this: take one bite to say “hello,” one bite to savor the flavor and one bite to say “good bye”.  For most, after the third bite,  the excitement starts to decline.  You can still enjoy dessert without feeling deprived and without feeling like you overdid it.


Myth 3

It’s best not to bother the host with your dietary restriction.

Fact 3

Hosts want their guests to be happy, so you should definitely inform them about your nutrition concerns whether they are due to a food intolerance, allergy, or restriction due to a medical, ethical or religious reason. You don’t want to sit down for a holiday meal with nothing on your plate. Offer to provide some recipes for your special needs or even better, offer to bring a few dishes so you know you will have something that you can enjoy.



Myth 4:

Going back for seconds should be avoided.

Fact 4:

Since it takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to realize that your stomach is full, it is best to slow down your eating and wait a few minutes before going back for seconds.  After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break. Make conversation. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite. You might realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds.


Myth 5:

During the holidays it’s ok to go overboard with eating as long as you exercise.

Fact 5:

It’s a great idea to continue with your normal PSK4Life exercise schedule during the holidays, but keep in mind that it’s  almost impossible to out-exercise several weeks of unhealthy eating.  It’s not uncommon for a woman to consume 2000 or more calories at a holiday dinner, but a 130 pound woman burns only an average of 300 calories during an hour long, low-impact, aerobics class. Most of us overestimate the number of calories that we burn during a workout. Remember that exercise has many health benefits besides just burning calories!


Myth 6:

You should always try to make healthy ingredient substitutions in your favorite family recipes.

Fact 6:

Some substitutions work really well in recipes. I love to use Greek, plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and I usually reduce sugar and butter just a bit. On the other hand, unless the taste and texture of the recipe is not changed, leave a favorite recipe alone.  A moderate portion of a delicious recipe is much more satisfying than a large portion of a recipe that tastes like diet food.


 Wishing all the peeps a very happy and healthy holiday season!

by Susan Oxman
bottom of page