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Navigate the Holiday Buffet Without Packing on Pounds

Go ahead and enjoy the feast, but learn when to put the brakes on your eating

Holiday Buffet

Jon Edwards Photography/Getty Images

Certain foods should trigger a stop signal when you travel down the dinner buffet.

It was only a few weeks back when those teeny, tiny Halloween candy bars started showing up everywhere. Now, all of a sudden, the holiday season is in full swing. Soon you’ll be living on Thanksgiving leftovers: pumpkin pie for breakfast followed by a full turkey meal for lunch and another for dinner. If you’re anything like me, by the time Black Friday arrives, you are already well into the habit of indulging.

In fact, the average American gains more than a pound each holiday season (about 0.7 percent of your body weight), and half of that weight will still be around come summertime, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Over a decade, that’s one pants size of holiday cookies added to your belly.  

Of course, that’s not an invitation to test the limits of science. There’s still a whole lot of eating left to the season. Here’s how to get through it all with negligible damage.