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It’s not hard to drop healthy eating habits around the holidays. Everywhere you go, someone offers you a Christmas cookie or a piece of fudge. Saying no doesn’t seem very polite, does it? It especially becomes tricky when it’s Grandma asking you to indulge in a little sweetness.

But you really don’t have to eat all the gingerbread cookies smiling at you from that holiday platter.

It’s OK to say no. Plenty of people do.

And no one should be offended or hurt that you’re trying to improve your health by losing weight.

Will one little Christmas cookie hurt?

It can if you can’t stop eating them for the next few weeks. Many people have trouble with eating in moderation.

And it’s good to admit that to yourself and others. Knowing your limit is important when it comes to controlling portion sizes and calories. When your friends, family members and co-workers understand that, too, they may be less likely to tempt you. In fact, a few of them may be struggling with temptation themselves.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to completely avoid treats all together.

Try these tips to stay on track with your weight loss goals:

  • Skip the neighborhood cookie exchange. Or, if you can handle it, attend the event but offer to bring coffee instead.
  • Eat your own lunch before the holiday office potluck. If you’re not hungry, it’s easier to ignore the stack of homemade fudge.
  • Keep holiday treats out of sight and reach. If you’ve heard this one before, it’s because it works. In the time that it takes you to find a step stool to reach the brownies, you might find the willpower to say no.

Alice Warchol is a freelance health writer and fitness instructor.

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