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How to maintain your diet during the holiday: 'A moment on your lips, forever on your hips'

Ellen Bryan

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“A moment on your lips, forever on your hips.” I will never forget hearing that from a perfect stranger as my 12-year-old self stuffed cookie after cookie into my mouth.

Sweets are my vice. Still are today. Yours might be cheesy, fried foods. Others might want every dish wrapped in bacon.

For our taste buds, we’re entering the best time of the year. For our waistlines? It’s the worst.

No matter what you seem to crave, for the next six weeks, it’s just an arm’s length away.

But as I pile a third helping of my mom’s sweet potato pie on my plate, I still hear, “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips.” It’s like the ghost of Christmas past that won’t leave me alone.

A couple weeks ago I sat down with nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple, to interview her for another story. Toward the end of the interview, we went off topic and started talking about holiday weight gain, a big problem for all of her clients.

Want to know why Katherine thinks the scale skyrockets from now to Jan. 1? Because we treat from now until Jan. 1 as “the holidays.”

Here’s Katherine’s definition of the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day.

Three days. That’s it.

Wrapping ourselves in the spirit of indulgence for six weeks straight is a one-way ticket to diet-land in the new year.

Here are some tips Katherine offered up to stay fit and feeling good for the remainder of 2016.


Get out your planner and think through your holiday parties for the week. Pick one or two parties per week where you will splurge, but for the other two or three, stick to a normal diet.


The bowl of M&M’s on the counter? Not worth it. Your aunt’s creamed corn? Worth it.


The best way around those brownies in the office kitchen? Pack a piece of fruit you don’t normally eat and when the sugar craving strikes, eat the fruit instead. Second tip? Avoid the kitchen all together. Just don’t even go there.


Our brains love nothing more than a table loaded with yummy options. But when faced with three types of mac n’ cheese, we naturally want to compare and contrast. So limit the number of dishes you prepare for gatherings. And if you’re going to have a variety, make it healthy options.