salad with grilled chicken

RESIST MORE TEMPTATIONS

Crowding out is the better strategy.

THE GIST
Instead of assigning a hard no to cheat foods, you can eat healthier over the holidays with the crowding out strategy. It involves serving yourself fruits, vegetables, and other low-calorie, high-fiber foods first, leaving less space (on your dish and in your stomach) for more indulgent options.
EXPERT INSIGHT
Crowding out works not only because of the physical limitations it puts on the plate. The technique also requires a mindset shift that helps you think more positively about your meal, says Deanna Minich, Ph.D., Seattle-based Equinox Health Advisory Board member and author of The Rainbow Diet.

To do it, eat plant-based and high-protein foods before reaching for the richer ones—and make them colorful. “If you fill your plate with a rainbow variety, you’re less apt to think about the foods you’re missing,” says Minich, adding that you can counteract the metabolic effects of your (smaller) indulgence through strategic food pairings. Eat mostly vegetables if you want a few bites of something fried, and healthy fats and protein from things like nuts, olive oil, eggs, lean meat, or fish if you're ending with dessert. 
THE BOTTOM LINE
Use the crowding out strategy over the holidays or anytime you’re tempted by rich or heavy dishes.