A festive holiday food display
If you have a say in the holiday meal plans, give ample space to dishes that incorporate fruits and vegetables. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

As fall gets underway, it signals the approach of seasonal festivities. Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the horizon—and winter holidays aren’t far behind.

With all that fun comes plenty of great food. And that means sweets, treats and savory eats.

If you’re worried about your diet going off the rails amid the temptation, consider these ideas to keep you on track.

Eat healthy foods first

Filling up on healthy foods at mealtime is a great way to set yourself up to enjoy the other delicious foods last. When you fill up on foods that contribute best to your health, you leave less room—but room nonetheless—for your favorite holiday treats.

Distance yourself

At mealtime, sit where the less healthy foods are out of sight or out of reach. When you’re in close proximity to those junk foods, it makes it hard to resist to them.

Make half your plate veggies

You may have heard this piece of advice before as part of the MyPlate initiative. When veggies take up 50% of the space on your plate, you consume more food rich in vitamins and minerals—as opposed to foods high in sugar and saturated fat.

Exercise before the party

A 30-minute workout before your event can help set the mood for your diet. After you’ve exercised, you’ll hopefully feel less inclined to spoil your hard work by eating food that’s high in calories.

Plan ahead

If possible, be involved in the planning process for your holiday event. If the host is someone you know, consider helping them plan the meals. This way, you could have some control over the healthfulness of the foods served at the function.

Set fruits and veggies at center stage

Make fruit-based desserts and vegetable-based appetizers. Holiday foods that keep fruits and vegetables in mind will leave less room for the not-so-healthy ingredients, while still serving up delicious treats for guests.

Recipes abound on the internet, so try to find something you and your partygoers will all enjoy.

Drink plenty of water

To help curb your appetite, drink eight to 10 ounces of water before the party and sip on water during the event. Even if you make a path straight to the desserts, you may feel less inclined to binge on them if you’ve already filled up on water.

Eat healthy ahead of time

By eating something healthy before you leave for the event, you’re filling up on things that are good for you—before you go anywhere near the sweets and treats.

Involve your kids

If you have little ones, have them participate in the party planning. When they have a say in what gets served at the holiday parties and mealtimes, it sets them up for healthy choices now and into the future.

Be kind to yourself

If you fall short of your plans to stay healthy, don’t be too hard on yourself. We are all human and we make mistakes sometimes.

When things don’t go your way, don’t give up on your health goals. Continue to treat your body as well as possible—because the next day is another great opportunity to get back on track.

Keep in mind you don’t have to follow all these tips. Just pick the ones you think will work best for you as you set out to combat the temptation to overindulge.