'Tis the Season to Overeat

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Dec. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

"Don't arrive at a party hungry. It may seem logical to save up calories if you know you'll be attending a party, but deprivation leads to hunger, and hunger leads to overeating," Jill Ashbey-Pejoves, lead dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said in a hospital news release.

"It's better to eat healthy during the day and even to have a snack before attending a party when you know you'll be tempted to indulge," she suggested.

At gatherings, choose vegetables, fruits and lean protein. They fill you up but are low in calories. At a buffet, check out the table and make your food selections before you start filling your plate. Don't stand next to the food.

Don't be too strict with yourself. Have something you enjoy when you're at a holiday get-together. Choose the smallest plate and watch your portion sizes if you choose high-calorie foods, Ashbey-Pejoves said.

Adequate sleep is important, because lack of sleep leads to overeating, she noted.

You also need to maintain your regular exercise routine or stick as closely to it as possible. Exercise relieves stress and helps keep you focused on your health and well-being, Ashbey-Pejoves said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers holiday health and safety tips.