You are here:

Nutrition & Dieting/How to handle the holidays?


Hello, I am 19, 5'3" and weigh 123. Although that is a normal weight for my height, I have a lot body fat, especially on my belly, to get rid of. I have recently been going to the gym doing cardio and eating mainly protein and vegetables, and I want to keep this up, but I am not sure how to handle Christmas coming up (I started after Thanksgiving so that wasn't an issue). I will be coming home from college for about 6 and a half weeks and my family makes delicious food, and me and my mom always make special family recipe oat chocolate chip cookies. I want to have some of these things to enjoy the holidays, but how should I go about it without completely ruining what I will have done thus far?

Hi Matilda,

Congratulations on your resolve to eat better through the holidays. One of the theories of obesity is not that people stuff themselves every day, but that they gain 1 or 2 pounds over each holiday/vacation, and never take it off! So you can really save yourself a lot of trouble in the future by watching what you eat now.

Have a plan: keeping a food diary is an excellent idea because it keeps you aware of what you are eating. There are many websites (like and that help you do this, and an app called LoseIt if you have a smart phone. You could also just get a tiny notebook that is easy to carry around (intake should be recorded within 15-20 minutes of eating, or people tend to forget what they nibbled).

What is a reasonable number of cookies for you to have each day? Would it help to save them until the end of the day? Would a set plan like, "I will only have one cookie at a time and I will sit at the table to eat each one slowly and savor it" help?

Consider how you are likely to overeat and then write up a strategy for yourself. Rules like "I will only eat when I am hungry" or "I will only eat while sitting down" can be helpful.

If you'd like, send me your plan and I'll give you some feedback so you'll be set in time for the holidays!

Nutrition & Dieting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.


I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications,,,, Today's Dietitian

Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

©2016 All rights reserved.