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Holiday Eating – by Jinan Banna PhD, RD

Holiday eating

by Jinan Banna PhD, RD

While the holidays should be a time to enjoy family and friends, fears around weight gain can easily come up. Fortunately, simply being mindful of what you eat during the holidays can help you to enjoy without packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips for enjoying your holiday eating.


  • Experiment a little. While it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and indulge in that chocolate pie you love, you might also want to try some healthier renditions of the holiday favorites. I find it fun to create healthier versions of my favorite desserts, for example. One of my favorites is Okinawan sweet potato pie with date and walnut crust, which I make with a small amount of honey as the only added sweetener. It’s rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and it’s delicious.
  • Go ahead and indulge. If you’d rather have the traditional version of your favorites during the holidays, by all means, go for it! As you are enjoying your food, pay attention to how you feel. Note any feelings of hunger and fullness and enjoy your treats slowly to give your body time to send these signals. When you’re starting to feel satisfied, that may be a good time to stop.
  • Be the one to bring the veggies. If you’re going to a holiday potluck, consider bringing a dish that is rich in vegetables. Veggies can often be lacking at parties, and they are an important source of fiber to help you stay full and satisfied. They are also relatively low in calories. Salad or an easy plate of raw veggies with dip are good options.


Remember that the most important thing you’ll want to do during the holidays is enjoy, and there is no exception when it comes to food! Here’s to a joyous holiday season.


Jinan Banna PhD, RD is a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is also one of our Art of Wellbeing resident experts and will be the speaker for the November 11th presentation Festive Meal Planning.  For more information about this lecture, please visit here.


Jinan helps women feel confident and energetic and enjoy food without dieting.  For more tips, please visit her website at for information on plant-based eating, overall nutrition, and weight loss. 

Holiday eating
Holiday eating
Holiday eating
Holiday eating

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