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MUNCIE, Ind.–The big eating holidays are about to begin. You’ll likely have the chance to eat plenty of turkey, ham, dressing and lots of desserts. Nutrition lecturer Christy Tunnell, at Ball State University, says you can enjoy yourself, and still take precautions to keep from gaining a lot of weight.

“If grandma makes the best apple pie you’ve ever had in your life, don’t feel like you can’t eat grandma’s pie. She’s not gonna be there forever to make it for you,” said Tunnell. 

But, enjoyment doesn’t have to mean overindulgence.

“Smaller portion sizes: that’s usually the way to try everything out and get a little taste of everyone’s dishes. But, you’re not filling a huge plate full, you’re just getting a couple bites of every particular food.”

Tunnell said you may think about filling up on something healthier like salad or baked chicken, then going for smaller portions of some of the higher calorie or higher sugar foods.

And, don’t skip meals. That’s a good way to make yourself binge.

“When you get to the big dinner with your family, you’re just ravenously hungry, so anything and everything looks good. If you don’t skip meals, keep your blood sugar relatively stable throughout the day, then you make better choices when you get to those parties,” said Tunnell.

She said you may also consider having a glass of water in between drinks. Egg nog and mixed drinks are high in sugar and calories and a glass of water in between can fill you up and keep consumption lower.

Tunnell also said it’s important to move during the holidays.

“You don’t have to get on the treadmill for 45 minutes or swim for an hour. But, just saying this afternoon I’m gonna turn off the TV, take a walk around the block.”

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