Downsizing calories while still indulging this holiday season

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Studies show that the pounds we put on at holiday time tend to be the ones that stick with us. But how do you hold the line, when it seems food is everywhere?

Einstein Medical Center dietitian Jacki Dwyer says it's very easy to go overboard, especially when tables are filled with food - and it's hard to tell how much you're eating.

"When we're offered a large amount of food, your average person will eat about 30% more calories," said Dwyer.

But Dwyer says you can "downsize" your calories, yet have all the holiday foods you love.

First, use a smaller plate and your mind will automatically be happy with smaller portions.

And keep some common objects in mind, for meat, 3 ounces is the right serving size.

"A 3-ounce portion is about the size of a deck of cards, where this example is about 2 decks - it's about 8 ounces," said Dwyer.

A baseball is a good comparison for a cup of green beans or other vegetables and a tennis ball or the top of a light bulb is about half a cup - just right for mashed potatoes or stuffing.

Go for a sweet potato that's about the size of a computer mouse.

Holiday desserts are a real treat but go for taste, not amount.

"This is almost 400 or 500 calories in a piece of pecan pie," warns Dwyer.

And beware the beverages!

Sometimes two glasses look like the same amount of wine, but the one glass can actually hold twice as much.

Dwyer also suggests focusing on special holiday foods and skipping foods you can eat any day of the year, like rolls or bread.

Also, have a mini-holiday feast in summer.

Send a breaking news alert to Action News
Report a correction or typo
Want to comment?
Learn more about the 6abc apps
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.