The Philippines is known for celebrating the holiday season like no other country. The celebration is not complete without food and merriment. Here are some tips to keep the extra pounds away without depriving yourself.

Choose your Christmas Parties wisely

There are bound to be many parties and reunions, but, that doesn’t mean you should pig-out in each and every occasion. Plan ahead and choose which parties are worth the pig-out. For example, a party that features your mom’s heirloom recipes is probably worth the cheat compared to a micro office party that serves mostly trays of food from fastfood places. Also, if you have decided not to cheat at a particular party, try to eat a heavy meal before attending the event. This will help you control your cravings.

Lean meat instead of Lechon skin

Filipino festivities almost always serve lechon. Although you might be tempted to eat the fat and skin, it is a better option to eat just the lean meat of the lechon making sure to trim out the fat.

Tomato instead of cream

If pasta is being served, opt to eat tomato sauce-based pastas instead of calorie and cholesterol dense cream based pasta. Not only will your heart thank you for it, but eating your daily dose of tomatoes gives you lycopene, which in turns protects your health.

Grilled instead of deep fried

Although most fried food seems very appetizing, grilled can be equally satisfying. Choose flame or oven-grilled options for meats and vegetables instead of deep fried. Remember, even if you blot out the excess oil from friend food, most of the oil has already seeped into the food during the cooking process. No amount of draining or blotting can get rid of that excess oil.

Water instead of sodas and iced tea

Nix the sugary drinks and opt for water instead. Drinking sodas and instant juices/iced tea is not a need but a want. So the next time you feel the need to reach for a can of soda, ask yourself: “is this really worth the extra bulge on my tummy?”

Fresh Fruits instead of fatty cakes

If you have a craving for sweets, eating fruits can help curb your cravings. It’s all a matter of choosing wisely. Mangoes, which are abundant in the Philippines, are usually very sweet. Just remember the saying “a moment on the lips, forever in the hips” every time you try to rationalize that eating a small cake here and there is okay.