10 holiday nutrition tips from Allie Wergin, Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist

December 10, 2015

Allyn Wergin RDNNEW PRAGUE, Minn. — Holidays are usually full of family, food and joy. However, unhealthy habits can be attached to the jolly parties and gatherings. Allie Wergin, Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague registered dietitian nutritionist, shares 10 tips to help you have a healthier holiday: 

  1. Don’t skip meals. Skipping a meal with the goal of saving calories prior to a holiday event can often backfire and lead to overeating due to ravenous feelings of hunger. Having a filling snack, such as fruit, string cheese, yogurt or a small handful of nuts, can help curb your appetite and prevent overeating.  
  2. Contribute a healthy dish. Ensure at least one nutritious choice is available at potlucks by contributing a healthy dish. 
  3. Choose your splurges. Scan the buffet or dinner table and choose a couple holiday favorites to splurge on instead of foods you can have any other day of the year. 
  4. Think Color. Make a plate look festive by including fruits and veggies. Aim to cover half the plate. 
  5. Choose drinks wisely. Stick to calorie-free drinks, such as water, tea or seltzer, instead of high-calorie festive drinks. Alcoholic beverages contribute empty calories and can cause you to make poor judgments with food. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation, and alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.  
  6. Visit the people, not the food. Move socializing away from the buffet or appetizer table to prevent mindless eating.  
  7. Say no to food pushers. If someone strongly encourages you to eat foodstuffs you’re trying to avoid or to eat more than you’re comfortable with, stand your ground by politely declining. 
  8. Savor seasonal treats. Having treats once a year will not make or break your weight. Make sure you take time to really taste and enjoy that special treat when you have it.  
  9. Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. No one likes that icky, stuffed feeling after a meal. Eat slowly, and check your fullness levels while you’re eating. Remember — there are always leftovers. 
  10. Don’t feel guilty. If you did overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure your next meal is healthy, and be sure to incorporate exercise into your routine. 


Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in more than 60 communities in Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.



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