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Give In to Temptation: Once in a While Doesn’t Hurt

    • How can you possibly resist all the goodies that abound during the holiday season? Here’s good news: You don’t have to. According to someone whose opinion should carry some weight (no pun intended), you don’t have to be totally good when it comes to making food choices during the holidays.

      That’s right. Voltaire Velarde, M.D., a board certified internal medicine specialist affiliated with Sutter Solano Medical CenterOpens new window, believes that you can treat yourself—just not too much.

      “There’s no point in skipping good food, especially things you may only have the chance to eat once or twice a year, but you must be guided by moderation,” says Dr. Velarde. “Many of us look forward to enjoying family recipes that are usually high in calories, so instead of passing altogether, take small servings.”

    • Follow These Suggestions

    • Dr. Velarde also offers the following suggestions for holiday eating done right:

      • Never arrive at a party on an empty stomach. If you do that, you’re almost guaranteed to overeat.
      • Check out all the food choices available, sampling the “bad” ones in small portions and focusing on filling up on vegetables, fruit, and lean meats such as turkey.
      • Don’t feel that you must be eating all the time. If you find yourself merely putting food in your mouth to have something to do, put down the plate and walk away.
      • Remember that alcoholic beverages contain calories, so while you may be proud of yourself for limiting your time at the buffet table, an evening of drinking can be just as bad for your waistline.

    • Don’t Forget Exercise

    • In addition to monitoring your food intake, Dr. Velarde suggests maintaining your usual exercise routine. He recommends walking as an alternative to more rigorous activities and notes that Northern Californians cannot use the “bad weather” excuse that those in other parts of the country may find convenient during the winter months.

      “It’s always important to maintain a healthy weight, since being overweight can predispose you to diabetes, heart and lung problems, joint issues, and more,” Dr. Velarde says. “You can’t modify genetics, but you can exercise, eat well, and control risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—even while celebrating the holidays.”

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