So do you want to hear my secret to navigating the holiday eating freenzy without gaining weight and feeling miserable for a whole week after?  Too often, we tend to think about what we are going to do after we eat too much (i.e. New Year’s resolutions) instead of what we can do to prevent such an occurrence.  Here are three things you can focus on this holiday season to avoid crash dieting after the new year:

* EAT WHAT YOU WANT BUT IN SMALL PORTIONS:  you know as well as I do that there may be 10-15 dishes on display at granny’s christmas dinner.  And how many times have you filled up two plates just to make sure you got a hearty helping of each dish?  My advice is to get just one large spoonful of each dish to sample.  Make sure there is some empty space between each serving on your plate so that they are not piled on top of each other.

* AVOID THE KITCHEN (UNLESS YOU ARE THE COOK OR DOING DISHES!):  I used to be bad about lingering in the kitchen or making many trips through the kitchen during preparation of the meal.  Each trip I made, I would usually munch on some type of snack food or sample something that was in the works.  Now, I avoid the kitchen as much as possible.  And you should, too, unless you have a specific reason for being in there.

* GET OUTSIDE:  this is my favorite.  In November, we brought some of our Action Jackson team to the farm for Thanksgiving.  And we made the most of the perfect weather. We walked the place, jumped on hay bales, threw the football and enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible before and after our meal.  By doing so, we earned our appetite and burned some of the calories we had consumed (versus trying to play catch up over the upcoming weeks!)  So in your effort to avoid the kitchen, go for a walk or run after your holiday meal.

Terry Sullivan is our go-to responsible living expert and the owner of liveRIGHTnow, a healthy life strategies consultant, and Fondren resident