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Eating healthy before and during holidays is important

Pardee employee Allea Hawkins said she tries especially hard this time of year to make good choices for lunch in the hospital cafeteria. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

"I've tried to really watch what I eat this week and the next couple of weeks."

Pardee employee Allea Hawkins said she tries especially hard this time of year to make good choices for lunch in the hospital cafeteria.

"I make a salad at the salad bar, probably four times a week," said the business analyst.

"I think she did beautifully," added Nick Dugan, Pardee dietetic intern. "It's hard to go wrong with such a beautiful salad."

Hawkins continued, "I used to eat a lot of ranch dressing, and then I realized how many calories were in it ... so that light Balsamic only has 70 calories."

"Dressing can certainly be the pitfall to a lot of salads," said Dugan.

But, in the coming days, there are plenty of other temptations, too.

"What I've noticed is there's food everywhere because you have all these family gatherings," said Hawkins. "It's so easy to eat because it's in front of you, not because you're hungry."

Dugan added, "This is a time of the year that really celebrates food, and I would hate to say you couldn't show up at parties and have the foods you like, but maybe lower your expectation of weight loss."

Experts also say, reduce your plate size and fill it only halfway -- with vegetables and protein -- to help prevent weight gain.

That way, you aren't as likely to ruin any health advances made in 2017.

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