Concerned about over-indulging in calories during the holidays, or any big food-oriented event?

Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal has been shown to reduce caloric input by 13 percent. A study published in the February 2010 issue of the journal, Obesity, showed drinking two cups of water prior to breakfast had a significant impact on decreasing calories consumed. Other studies in 2007 and 2008 showed similar effects.

The average person gains a pound between Thanksgiving and January, and since average American adults (aAa?) gain a pound or two a year over their lives, staying on an even keel over the holidays can have a tremendously positive effect over a lifetime.

Other tips:

Choose a small plate. Helpings will appear bigger; even if you take seconds, you will eat less and more slowly.

Put down your eating utensil between every bite. Put down finger foods, such as pizza slices, between every bite. If you continue to hold your fork or your food, you will eat faster.

Take small bites, savor each one. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, teasing out individual flavors and textures.

Focus on the dinner conversation, enjoy other elements of your dining experience.

Weigh yourself every day of your life. Record it. Knowing that you must face the consequences in the morning will help you stay on track.

Focus on a healthy lifestyle, nutritious eating, and portion control. Your snacking and eating patterns over a lifetime will have far more impact than any weight-loss diet.

Make healthy living a FUN game, keep the benefits and rewards vividly in mind. Make smart living part of your self-concept.

Program your emotions and mind to view healthy living as a wise investment in your future. You are achieving far more than you are relinquishing.