Holiday tips

• Create new traditions: instead of the usual holiday baking, make festive decorations to keep or to give as gifts. Collect ideas from craft books and magazines.

• Don’t skip meals; you’ll be hungrier and tend to overindulge. Have a healthy protein-based snack between meals to help prevent hunger and cravings.

• Spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. When cooking, have someone else taste the food for you; call in the “taster” when needed.

• When preparing food and clearing the table after meals: chew sugarless gum to avoid unconscious nibbling. Sipping a nice hot herbal tea also helps.

• Give away leftover food. Package leftovers for guests to take home as you clear the table.

• Keep plenty of healthy foods on hand. If you must have fattening foods in the house, keep them out of sight.

• When presented with a food gift such as cookies or candy, don’t feel obligated to open it right away. Simply say, “Thank you so much, it looks delicious!” Put the food away until ready to serve at your next party, or take it to work, give it to a neighbor, take it to a nursing home, or donate it to a food bank.