Start by skipping the more mundane foods you can eat any day of the year. (The mere presence of something edible does not mean it belongs in your mouth.) Next, prepare for the holiday buffet, which makes restraint difficult because variety stimulates appetite. Limit what you put on your plate at any one time. Try to start with raw veggies (ten slices of green pepper: 5 calories). A bit of nutritious, filling, low-calorie fare will leave less room for more fattening items.
Whenever possible, skip the buffet in favor of a sit-down meal, which has the benefit of built-in boundaries. And keep in mind that the dinner table is a place for socializing. Pause to enjoy the company. Research shows that extending a meal gives your body a chance to register fullness before you overeat.
As you're raising a glass of holiday cheer, remember that the disinhibiting effects of alcohol can cause you to eat more. In addition, a glass of red wine has about 125 calories; a cup of eggnog, as many as 340. My gift to you: an eggnog makeover that uses less sugar and replaces whole milk and cream with skim milk. Cheers.
— David L. Katz, MD