Is it possible to enjoy favorite holiday foods without hurting your health?

Nancy Kuppersmith, nutritionist at the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville, says it is.

“If people decide to savor the food and really enjoy it, they won’t have to eat as much because they’ll actually taste it,” she said.

She said with so many diet fads, some people may begin to feel guilty after eating foods that they feel are off-limits.

“Sometimes people feel like dieting means they have to eat awful tasting food, and I believe that people can maintain their weight and even lose their weight if they eat a wide variety of healthy foods but not eat too much of it,” Kuppersmith said.

She said people shouldn’t feel ashamed about eating food that they may only have on special occasions.

“When a person sits down at the table they should look at what’s there and pick the things that they really want or that they can only get at that time of the year. And instead of eating a lot of those foods, eat a small amount,” she said.

Kuppersmith suggests eating regular meals throughout the day instead of waiting for the big feast later in the day.

“Don’t starve yourself for the whole day and then expect to not overeat,” she said.

She also said that a person’s body weight and the amount of exercise they get can determine how much they gain and how long the weight will stay on.

“If you put that five pounds on every year and you don’t lose it, pretty soon in just a few years you’ve got five, 10, 20, 30 pounds on you. And it’s the winter time when we’re less active, so it is a more difficult time for people to lose weight,” Kuppersmith said.

Kuppersmith also suggests watching portion sizes and being conscious of sugary drinks that add more calories to a meal.