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Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge: How to enjoy holiday sweets and meals without overindulging

Madeline Perry, a Mercy Health registered dietitian, said holiday treats are fine as long as it's in moderation.

TOLEDO, Ohio — We're just a few days out from Christmas and that means holiday parties are in full swing. It also means a lot of snacks, sweets and other ways to overindulge.

Madeline Perry, a registered dietitian with Mercy Health said those treats are fine as long as it's in moderation.

So, what is the biggest thing we have to worry about when it comes to the holidays and eating healthily?

Perry said to listen to your body.

"We want to listen to when our body is truly hungry and what are those signs of hunger?" she said.

You should not feel like you have to wait until that big family dinner to eat. She said to listen to what your body is telling you and when it becomes time, nourish it.

"If you need to, maybe eat a snack prior to (dinner). Get some veggies and fruit in there," she said. 

If you're going to indulge, Perry said you can and should. But don't overindulge. That's the key.

"Go in with a plan and know that these are your favorite things and you can have a reasonable portion of those favorites," she said.

It's fine to have chocolates, candy canes and pies. But we can also enjoy those snacks by making other small changes.

"Make your favorite holiday dish more of a healthy option," Perry said. "You could reduce the sugar, or use nonfat or low-fat cream or milk in the product that you're making."

She also recommends making smaller sizes of the ingredients, that way there aren't as many leftovers.

During a big family meal, there's bound to be plenty to choose from. Enjoy the food, but you don't have to grab everything you see.

Perry recommends choosing from the items you like or having small portions of all the items you'd like to have.

Variety, even in holiday meals, is also a good idea, she said.

As a dietitian, Perry has her clients use the MyPlate app to help with balanced meals.

"You have vegetables and fruit being half of your plate," she said. "Protein, if you like ham, go for it there. Lastly, we have grains, so this might be a roll. We try to stick with whole grains most of the time. But when it comes to this day, maybe the sweet roll is something you really enjoy so that could be an indulging moment."

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