It’s OK to indulge a little around the holidays. I certainly won’t deny myself a slice of pumpkin pie (or two!). But unless you’re looking to gain 10 pounds in a single holiday weekend, practicing portion control is still key during this time of year. In my opinion, no one should be counting calories at a holiday dinner—that takes all the fun out of it. But, if you keep this little trick in mind you won’t have to. Here’s how to build the perfectly portioned plate…

  • ½ Vegetables. First, load up on enough healthy greens or veggies so that they take up half of your plate. Salads, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and squash are a few of my favorites. But keep in mind that too much dressing or butter can turn these healthy sides unhealthy.
  • ¼ Protein. Devote one quarter of your plate to a protein like turkey or ham. A 3-ounce serving of turkey is about the size of your fist or a deck of cards.
  • ¼ Starches. The remaining fourth of your plate can be made up of starches. This includes stuffing, rolls, and starchy vegetables like yams, mashed potatoes, and corn.

This is definitely a good template to follow during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but it also applies year-round. If you’re really watching your waistline, stick to drinking water and a single glass of wine or a low-calorie cocktail during dinner. Soda should be off limits. Also, fill up your plate with a proper amount of food the first time in order to avoid going back for seconds. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll still have room for that slice of pumpkin pie!

How do you stay slim during the holidays?

Let me know in the comments.

XO Lauren

Photo: Anthropologie