You can safely splurge over holidays

Published 11:12 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2006

By Staff
If you're one of countless Americans concerned that a little splurging this holiday season will blow your diet, relax. Just remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to splurge, says one expert.
So long as this splurging is confined to only a handful of meals - Thanksgiving, Christmas and maybe an office dinner - you'll be OK, says Dr. Robert Keith, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System nutritionist and Auburn University professor of nutrition and food science
Studies have shown that Americans gain an average 3 to 7 pounds during the holidays, but it's not because of that lavish Christmas or Thanksgiving meal, Keith says. It's because many people don't apply the brakes after those first couple of holiday meals.
As the holiday reveling reaches full throttle, the temptations also multiply. On top of the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are the lavish holiday parties strung in between as well as the food and beverages consumed on New Year's Day.
These, rather than the two traditional meals, are where the problems occur - the reason Keith stresses why it's so important during the holiday season to track calories.
He recommends the following: